Massive storm postpones games

Updated: February 2, 2011, 2:40 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The St. Louis Blues saw plenty of snow and ice, but no Avalanche.

The Blues' game against the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night was postponed because of a storm cutting a frigid path across much of the nation.

A makeup date has not been set for the NHL game, which would have been the first since the All-Star break for both teams.

The Toronto Raptors, meanwhile, were still hoping to make it to Atlanta for Wednesday night's NBA game. In the meantime, they were stuck in Indianapolis for the second straight day.

Matthews It's a little too cold for me. Texas is supposed to be hot and humid. I was looking forward to that. I am a California guy.

-- Clay Matthews on the bone-chilling cold gripping Dallas.

The Raptors were supposed to fly out of Indy after Monday night's 104-93 loss to the Pacers, but their flight was canceled because of the storm. The Raptors tried to take off again Tuesday and instead spent five hours aboard their chartered airplane before that trip was wiped out, too.

Team spokesman Jim LaBumbard said players passed the time on the plane watching movies, listening to their headsets and eating. The Raptors planned to try again Wednesday, but as for getting to Atlanta in time, "it's too early to tell," LaBumbard said.

The weather was fine in California, but the storm might cause the Boston Celtics to extend their West Coast trip.

Coach Doc Rivers said before the Celtics' game at Sacramento that the team was exploring options to get back to Boston but would likely stay in northern California for an extra night because of the severe weather moving across the country.

The Celtics were finishing up a four-game road trip against the Kings on Tuesday night.

Rivers said he was still thinking about flying at least part of the way back to Boston. But he said his team could use the rest, so they probably wouldn't fly back until Wednesday.

The Celtics don't play again until Friday at home against the Dallas Mavericks. There were clear skies with temperatures reaching the 60s earlier in the day in Sacramento.

In New York, the Pittsburgh Penguins were hoping to fly home after their 4-3 shootout win over the Rangers. They are scheduled to play the New York Islanders in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.

"The plan is to [fly home], right now," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "We're hustling to get out of here. We're hopeful. We also have rooms, if we don't."

The airport in Dallas -- the destination for thousands trying to get to Sunday's Super Bowl -- was among those shut down. Walkways outside Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, were like sheets of ice.

The National Weather Service advised Wisconsin travelers bound for Texas to wait until Wednesday evening, with up to 20 inches of snow forecast for the Milwaukee area.

The Packers, no stranger to winter chill, have decided to practice indoors Wednesday at Highland Park High School. The Packers were originally set to practice outdoors at SMU, but a team spokesman had indicated to ESPN's Chris Mortensen earlier Tuesday that the Packers would decide Wednesday morning where to hold practice later that day, depending on the SMU field conditions and the weather.

"It's a little too cold for me," linebacker Clay Matthews said. "Texas is supposed to be hot and humid. I was looking forward to that. I am a California guy."

Villanova's women's basketball team was stuck in Milwaukee after losing to Marquette. The Wildcats' charter back to Philadelphia was canceled.

"A friend actually texted me earlier this morning and said there's 'life-threatening conditions' so I knew we weren't going anywhere," said Villanova's Heather Scanlon, who finished with 15 points in the 62-57 loss.

The Wildcats said they planned to get back to the hotel and catch up on their studies.

"It would be a lot better stuck in the snow with our first Big East win," Amanda Swiezynski said. "We're missing a lot of school, so we're doing a lot of homework."

The Penn State men's basketball team made it to Champaign, Ill., for its game Tuesday night against Illinois despite heavy snow.

Penn State spokesman Brian Siegrist said the team arrived around 1 p.m. by bus from Evansville, Ind. The team's charter flight was diverted there Monday night because of weather conditions in central Illinois.

The men's Big 12 basketball game in Norman, Okla., on Tuesday night was called off and rescheduled for Wednesday afternoon, when admission will be free.

Also postponed were the men's and women's Tuesday night games featuring Southeast Missouri at Southern Illinois-Edwardswille.

Villanova's men's basketball game with Marquette was moved up two hours in an effort to avoid the worst of a blizzard bearing down on Milwaukee, but the Wildcats learned shortly before tip that their charter flight was grounded until Wednesday.

The team hopes to leave sometime in the early afternoon, contingent on the weather in Philadelphia, a spokeswoman said.

Georgia's basketball team sat on a plane in Augusta for hours, according to ESPN.com's Andy Katz. The team will stay in Augusta overnight and try to get to Arkansas on Wednesday for Wednesday night's game.

The Nebraska women's basketball team plays at Missouri on Wednesday. Cornhuskers spokesman Jeff Griesch said the team bus was rolling through whiteout conditions on Interstate 70. He didn't know whether the team would fly or bus back to Lincoln after the game.

Missouri has been hit by what could be its worst winter storm in decades, a dangerous mix of snow, freezing rain, wind and cold. In Oklahoma, whiteouts paralyzed Oklahoma City and the Tulsa area, and blowing snow created drifts up to 4 feet high. Conditions in the area were so forbidding that The Humane Society of Missouri urged people to bring pets inside.

In the Big Ten, the Indiana men tentatively plan to play their Wednesday night game against Minnesota now that the Gophers have landed in Indianapolis.

The Air Force women's basketball team abandoned the skies Tuesday, deciding to bus rather than fly to New Mexico for Wednesday night's game.

The storm also had an effect in the East, where Aqueduct canceled Wednesday's racing card. The forecast for the New York area called for a mix of rain, sleet and ice.

Information from The Associated Press is included in this report.

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