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11-15-2004, 01:19 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Halfway between Nothing and Not Much Else
Country: Canada
Posts: 1,758
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I started playing in 1978 and have loved the game since the first moment I fell right on my butt. As anyone who watched the Heritage Classic knows winter in Edmonton can be bitterly cold. From the age 6 probably until about 10 we practiced on outdoor rinks once a week for the full season. And every year there was at least one tournament that was held on outdoor ice only.

I can still vividly remember Dad loosening helmet screws so I could wear my toque under my helmet to keep my ears warm. All of us skating and moving as much as we could to keep warm with our scarves blowing out behind us. I remember wondering why it stung so much more to make a save on the outdoor ice. And most of all I remember the whole team warming up in the shack afterwards with hot chocolate all around.

I sometimes think that kids today miss out on those kinds of experiences. I haven't seen a team practice on my local outdoor rink for probably 6 years or so. Funny how you never notice the cold when you're having fun.

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