I don't know whose backyard rink this is, but...um, wow. Pic from www.pulledmygroin.com

Hockey is at it’s purest, most true form when it’s played on ponds and in backyards. Not everyone is lucky enough to live in a climate that allows for this special treat, but for those of us that did as kids, the memories are heavy in corny nostalgia.

I certainly know we weren’t skating on rinks like the one above, and that was just fine with me (though that would’ve been wicked).

There’s something honest about working for your fun that feels good, whether it’s building the rink, shoveling the snow, or chasing the puck far beyond the area you cleared, plodding in skates through snow to find the puck that someone fired wide. Why’d that guy raise it anyway?

The Haas family rink (Chicago)

The worst parts of playing in the great outdoors end up being the best parts: the frozen face and toes may suck for a little bit, but the exhilarating feeling after you start to warm up again is tough to replace. It’s like runner’s high, but cozier.

And on those rare days where it’s been cold enough to freeze everything solid, then it warms up and you have smooth ice and pleasant weather….there’s just nothing better.

Leading up to the Winter Classic, I’d like to honor the people who’ve taken the time and put in the effort to capture the thrill that is outdoor puck. Weather is warm all around the country these days, but it’s going to start to get chilly mighty quick.

Please submit images of the backyard rink you’ve created to backhandshelf@thescore.com, and we’d be proud to show the world (well, our readers anyway) your commitment to the great game of hockey.

For today, a little teaser:

Our current leader in the clubhouse for “most amazing backyard rink” (save for whoever built the one in the picture at the top of this post) is a father from Connecticut, who’s constructed this little beauty for his family.

How nice is that? What a way to spend your time after school.

Yours doesn’t have to live up to that – we just want to see the different surfaces that people around this continent (and maybe beyond, that’d be cool) have set up to enjoy hockey at its best.

Or maybe you just play hockey on a rink like the one below? That’d be pretty cool too – we’ll take pics of that as well.

(Stick-tap to Puck Daddy for the vid find and for sharing the PD reader comment: “I’m thinking dump and chase isn’t a viable strategy here.”)

Comments (9)

  1. “Why’d that guy raise it anyway?”

    My shins have asked that very question many times.

  2. How great was it when someone would order a pizza in the warming house!? It was an automatic call for a quick 5 minute game break if you were playing in the boarded rinks back home in NoDak..

    We didn’t have too many backyard rinks in Grand Forks, with over 54 outdoor rinks, everyone was basically a block or two away from one of the Park Districts awesome boarded up rinks (18), or a rink with a few back boards (18) or “pleasure” rinks (18 of them where you can’t bring sticks onto, unless of course you’re about 3 years old trying to keep yourself propped up) all are well lit, and a warming house that is open till 8:30 or later some nights (pending if the warming house attendant aka College Guy who grew up in the area, was planning on some of his buddies playing later, so they would keep the lights on for us.)

    Nothing better than putting your stick through your skates and walking a block or two to have a legendary game with all your buddies from school… (who’s got the spongie?? who’s got the orange weighted puck??)

    • Outdoor rinks are so great. Other than Alaska and Saskatchewan, haven’t seen ‘em too many places.

  3. I went to high school and was best friends with a kid who had the old boards from a rink in the area, put up a few spotlights, chain link fence, and even bought a old boni.. We spent highschool winters getting shit-tanked and playing puck all night, funnest thing ever. It was decent size too, i wanna say about 125′ by 50′ or something like that. I don’t know how his privacy settings work on facebook but here’s the link to a picture of the rink https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1002679506807.2001436.1219410170&type=1#!/photo.php?fbid=1004215105196&set=a.1002679506807.2001436.1219410170&type=3&theater

  4. Hey Justin,

    I tweeted that Yukon vid to you about 24 hours before PD posted it right after it hit the interwebs. Dunno if you missed it or maybe I’m blocked or something. Was trying to give you guys the scoop, was pretty obvious that one was gonna get spread around.

    • Nah, Twitter is Twitter, it’s easy to miss stuff on there. But yeah, awesome video. Pics on your site are awesome too, by the way.

  5. id be scared shitless to play on a pond

  6. Edmonton has some great community outdoor rinks. I miss pizza in the warming hut.

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