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It seems to us … : Erie digging out, one reason to welcome the cold and hockey’s stars of the future

You have to feel for our neighbors down the I-90 in Erie County, Pa. Residents there are coping with more than 5 feet of lake-effect snow that fell between Christmas Eve and Wednesday. It was already a snowy December for Erie, and the relentless storm pushed the month’s total over the 100-inch mark.

Maybe the kids in Erie are to blame. All those fervent wishes for a white Christmas came true – and then some.
The task of digging out must seem overwhelming. But as veterans of Western New York’s Wall of Snow event in 2014 know, it can be done. Just keep working at it a little bit at a time.

And speaking of weather … we choose to see the bright side of our current cold snap. It may be chilling us to the bone, but it’s also working its magic on Lake Erie, which is nearing the freezing mark.

The lake is about 20 percent ice covered already, way ahead of the usual pace. And the more ice on the lake, the less chance of lake-effect storms. With the cold due to remain for at least another week, Erie should be well on its way to freezing over.

When that happens, we wouldn’t mind a little break … maybe just a couple of days in the low 30s would do.

A big shout-out is overdue to the players, families and fans in town for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship. The hockey tournament runs through Jan. 5 at HarborCenter and KeyBank Center, except for Friday’s game between USA and Canada outdoors at New Era Field.

Besides the generally high level of hockey being played, spectators are likely looking at some future National Hockey League stars.

Between games, visitors should check out Championship Village at Canalside, where they can find interactive games, a hockey skills challenge (great for weekend warriors) and a 40-foot tall sledding hill appropriately named Snowzilla.

There is so much more to see and do around here since the last time the World Juniors came to town back in 2011. And more is on the way, so be sure to come back again and again.

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