Teams from sunny states arrive in Fargo during blizzard for hockey tournament

Hundreds of families from all over the country have driven and flown into Fargo this weekend for one of our community's biggest hockey weekends.

Fans and players of Arizona Hockey Union in Fargo for the 2022 Squirt International Hockey Tournament.

FARGO — Imagine the shock for some of the Squirt International teams when they arrived Friday, Feb. 11, after leaving a life of sun and short sleeves.

It seems like all the weather science came together at once for these hockey parents who just got to Fargo from sunny Phoenix, Arizona.

Sure, they did their best to cheer on their Knights from Arizona Hockey Union, but they couldn't stop talking about the 30-below windchill.

"A 100-degree difference. That's what we do for our children," said Arizona hockey parent Beth Fitchew said.

The Arizona fans talked about the snow, the wind and the amount of energy it takes to run from the car to the rink.


"I bought fleece lined pants and we got all the warm clothing, so I'm super excited," said Ashleigh Straube, a hockey parent from Arizona. "So bring on the cold weather, I love it."

I reminded the Arizona visitors who left 80-degree temperatures, that half our state is in their state right now, including professional golfer Tom Hoge, who is playing in the Phoenix Open.

"My first question to everyone is, why the heck do you live here?" asked Arizona hockey parent Miranda Taylor. "It's miserable. It's freezing. You can't see. I don't understand. You can have sunshine all the time in Arizona."

The hockey players and their fans are still talking about getting off the plane here in Fargo.

Fans and players of Arizona Hockey Union in Fargo for the 2022 Squirt International Hockey Tournament.

"I like it, it's just the blizzards, I hate the blizzards," said one player on the Knights hockey team.

"It felt like I was going to get frostbite," said another player.

"The second I stepped off the plane, I wanted to get back on and go home," a player's sister said.

Fans and players of Arizona Hockey Union in Fargo for the 2022 Squirt International Hockey Tournament.

But in the end, no complaints, really. Still plenty of fun exchanging pins, and for the first time, Arizona kids were playing catch in the lobby with a chunk of real ice.


One thing the hockey families from Arizona like is heated hockey rinks.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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