Sunday, February 22, 2004

The Backyard rink and other hockey icons

Hockey Day in Canada was as usual a smashing success, as the CBC turned over the bulk of it's programming day on Saturday,to everything and everyone hockey. From three great games on the tube, to stories of the game from the far corners of the land, it was a celebration of Canadiana. You know you're in store for a Canadian lovefest, when you hear the strains of Gordon Lightfoot's, Canadian Railroad trilogy as the opening theme.

One of the interesting features this year was the backyard rink contest, in which Canadians from coast to coast to coast, constructed their home backyard rink, submitted the finished product to the CBC for consideration, with the winner announced on the broadcast Saturday. This years winning effort came from Fort McMurray, Alberta, a twin family project, that goes to show that tearing down fences can go a long way to bringing happiness.

The backyard rink has come a long way from the one my Dad constructed for me in our Falcon Avenue backyard in Ottawa, oh so many years ago. The iced over snowbanks giving way to wood, the moonlight replaced by electricity. Today's backyard rink, is almost a marvel of engineering, regulation boards, halogen lights, scoreboards, advertising space, even a hazard (the tree in the winning entry, is priceless, yet only adults manage to run into it go figure). If nothing else our universities will be teeming with creative, Engineering students in the next five to ten years.

Check out the CBC's excellent website links to all the features of Hockey Day In Canada in case you missed something or want to see it one more time. It's a pretty neat way of celebrating the game, brining hockey fans across the country together for one day. Can't wait to see what they have planned for next year.

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