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Blue Devils to skate in Wadena tonight

The Long Prairie-Grey Eagle/Wadena-Deer Creek Wolverines will host Northern Lakes in a 7 p.m. varsity girls' hockey game Tuesday in Wadena.

Yes, Wadena.

Wadena has been without an indoor hockey arena since June 17 when an EF-4 tornado ripped the community center apart.

An outdoor facility, complete with boards, glass and lights, has sprung up on the site of the old arena and some youth hockey games have been held but Tuesday's game will mark the first time a high school contest is played there.

The outdoor game was the idea of the LPGE/WDC players.

"They're the ones who pushed for it," Behl said. "They don't want to ride that bus anymore than they have to."

The Blue Devils have been practicing at the Long Prairie indoor rink since the season began. It ihas also hosted all of their home games until now. Wadena players travel 38 miles one way to practice and to play.

Behl is taking a cautious approach to the idea of playing outdoor hockey. The visiting team has the deciding vote on playing outdoors. If the idea works, Behl sees the Blue Devils hosting some of their northern Minnesota opponents here.

"We're going to try it," Behl said. "This is the first dance and we're going to see if we're asked back."