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12-03-2012, 12:35 AM
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I'm a huge believer in outdoor hockey. I played and continue to play so much hockey outside, for no other reason then, 'because I can'. I love the game, but I could not love the game the same way, if I could not walk 1 minute down the street to a community rink. I play at 1 am until 3 am sometimes. These are opportunities afforded by climate. While I may be a mediocre player, I would be horrid, without these opportunities. Getting to play against older players as a kid, helped develop my game. Knowing that there were occasionally some goons out there, you learned to get creative in a non-structured environment. Messing around with friends for five straight hours outdoors gets your puck skills reasonably sharp. I have no idea how the USA will fare in hockey going forward, but if they do develop into the per-eminent power in the game, it will be in my opinion, because of kids spending hours upon hours on outdoor ice - just for fun.

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