SCSU hockey team had to wait out hurricane
NOV 01, 2012 12:29p ET
MINNEAPOLIS — For the women's hockey team at St. Cloud State University, Hurricane Sandy could have been a lot worse.
After spending the weekend in Providence, R.I., the team was scheduled to fly back to Minnesota on Monday. With a 2-2 tie and a 4-2 loss against Providence College in the books, the Huskies were ready for a week of practice to prepare for their next opponent, Ohio State, in Friday's home opener.
But as the weekend progressed, the forecast for the storm continued to get worse. Word in Providence was varied, coach Jeff Giesen said, with locals giving the team a wide spectrum of opinions as to whether they'd get out.
"Literally person to person would say, 'You'll be fine,' or 'You'll be stuck here for three days,'" Giesen said.
When it came time on Monday to board the bus from their Providence hotel to Logan Airport in Boston, though, the driver came bearing bad news. He was on time and ready to take them, and the storm hadn't yet hit, but there was one glitch: He'd just heard that all the flights in and out of Logan were grounded.
So the team prepared for an extended stay on the East Coast. Giesen said his goal was to keep things "business as usual," and in some ways, Sandy cooperated. The storm wasn't so bad in Rhode Island, basically an all-day thunderstorm with horizontal rain, Giesen said, and the team hunkered down in its hotel for the rest of Monday. That would have been the team's off day anyway, so missing practice was of no consequence, and the next day it was able to practice at Providence College.
At the time, Giesen thought the Huskies weren't going to be able to fly out until late Thursday night, putting them back in St. Cloud around midnight before that Friday game. It was hardly optimal. But after practice Tuesday, he got a call from the team's travel agent. Sun Country Airlines had somehow rearranged their itinerary, and they were booked on a midday flight Wednesday.
The team arrived back in St. Cloud Wednesday afternoon, without so much as a travel disruption. Giesen attributed it to nothing but luck, and he and the team are enjoying what he called their "25 minutes of fame."
"Being in a hurricane isn't something I'd say was on my bucket list," Giesen said. "But now I have."
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