MacKinnon of Avalanche to shoot for hole-in-one during NHL Outdoors

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Nathan MacKinnon still is working to match Joe Sakic’s greatest achievement in the NHL, but the Colorado Avalanche center will get an opportunity to match the Hall of Famer’s greatest feat on the golf course this weekend.

MacKinnon will take part in the One Million Dollar Hole-in-One Challenge presented by Bridgestone on the par-3 17th hole of Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. That hole was the same one Sakic, the Avalanche’s general manager, aced during the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship in 2011.

MacKinnon’s attempt will air during the first intermission of the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Outdoors Saturday game between the Avalanche and the Vegas Golden Knights (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, SN1, TVAS), which will be played on a rink built on the 18th fairway of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort in Stateline, Nevada.

If MacKinnon makes the hole-in-one, the NHL will donate $1 million to the NHL/NHLPA Learn to Play program.

“I talked to him and we have to see how practice goes, see how he’s feeling, because it’s all weather related and how everybody is feeling at that moment,” Sakic said. “But if he does it, it will be great. If he got a hole in one it’ll be even better.”

Sakic, who won the Stanley Cup twice with the Avalanche (1996, 2001), made his only hole in one on July 17, 2011, a two-hopper to into the cup.

“If you’re only going to have one, make sure you catch it on TV,” Sakic said.

Sakic split the $1 million bonus prize from tournament sponsor American Century, with half going to the Lance Armstrong Livestrong Foundation for cancer research.

He said he would be thrilled to share the glory of a hole-in-one on that 17th hole with MacKinnon if he can make it.

“Absolutely,” Sakic said. “A hole-in-one on 17, for sure.”

The NHL also announced more game day plans for the NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe, including honoring front-line workers from the Tahoe community and performances by five-time Grammy Award-winning rock band Green Day and three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Pentatonix.

As part of the Opening Ceremony presented by Navy Federal Credit Union on Saturday, the United States national anthem will be performed by South Lake Tahoe native Aurora C. Gooch, a 21-year-old who has been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic as a collection specialist for a Tahoe-based COVID testing company.

There also will be a special delivery of the game puck including the U.S. Coast Guard and a flyover featuring one HC-130J and two HH-60G helicopters flown by members of the Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR) Combined Test Force (CTF) stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada.

Green Day will perform its newest song, “Here Comes the Shock,” to a backdrop of highlights of top plays from the first quarter of the season during the second intermission.

Pentatonix will perform the U.S. national anthem prior to the Honda NHL Outdoors Sunday between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins (3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, SN1, TVAS).

The anthem will be followed by a flyover featuring two T-38 Talon aircrafts operated by the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron (1RS) assigned to Beale Air Force Base in California.

The NHL will close the Opening Ceremony presented by Navy Federal Credit Union on Sunday by honoring three-time Olympic snowboarder Hannah Teter and two-time Olympic skier Maddie Bowman. The South Lake Tahoe area residents will deliver the game puck to the officials.

“It’s an unbelievably stunning setting and it’s going to bring it out,” Sakic said. “Beautiful location. Beautiful golf course. It’s just a great place to have an outdoor game, especially if you’re not going to have fans. You’re not going to find a better setting anywhere.”

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