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04-15-2009, 08:25 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: JLL Press Box
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,183
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Originally Posted by Huggy Bear View Post
The best part about ice from roller is the following three big differences:

The smell of a rink
The sounds
The chill down your spine when you first walk in the arena, and CAN'T wait to get out on a fresh sheet
I can't tell you how much I miss our old rink that was burned down. There was something utterly magical about walking in that place at 7am on a Saturday morning, that big steel door would freeze your hand on first touch, the corridor with the drinking fountain on one side and the electrical room on the other, finally the double doors leading to the concourse with the dressing rooms on either side, canteen at one end, ref's room and minor hockey office at the other. Lights still off in the rink, only the natural light from the plexiglass windows along the top of both sides of the arena bringing in some light. It would bring a smile to my face every time, god that ice looked just so perfect. To me, no ice in the world was better than that sheet in that freezing old barn. Never seemed to be a blemish on it. The four dressing rooms we're small, only had 1 toilet and two shower heads each, that old tractor we had for a zamboni for the longest time which finally got replaced by a second hand real Zamboni, which for us was the nicest looking machine in the world. Those old animal fur stuffed, leather covered goalie pads I wore, that my aunt had worn some 30 years earlier, our old Charlo Stars (Minnesota North Stars) jerseys. The canteen with it's yet to be beaten in an arena poutine. Those old wooden boards, the old clock, the old glass, all of which was replaced in 2003 for the Canada Winter Games where it was used as a practice rink. All of that went up in smoke a mere few months later when some kids, my age and that I'm almost ashamed to admit I know very well, decided to break in and steal money & booze from the bar, accidently setting the place on fire at the same time.

My father and his brothers and sisters all grew up in that place, my fathers sister was a goalie in the mid-to-late 70's, so good in fact that she had the backup goalies parents call Hockey NB when they reached Pee-Wee to have her blocked from playing with the boys so her son could play, eh. I grew up in that place too, and so did many kids from my generation. No matter what I accomplish in hockey, and I've won Championships since I've been in that old rink last, nothing will ever come close to equalling the good times we all had in that place. December 30th, 2003 is the date it burned down, and as sappy as it may sound, yes I and my father and a lot of other people who loved the Charlo Recreational Center did cry that day. Sad. </rant> what was the point of this post again? Oh yeah, the smell and freezing temperature of an old rink rocks. You just can't beat that.

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