Pond Hockey, where did you go?

Well first off I want to say Happy New Year to everyone and wish you all the best for 2017 and hope that it will be better than this past one. 

Now with that being said, I was on my way to the office this morning, I found myself looking out my window as I passed the bridge by my house and something caught my eye. Openness, not one single net was put out there, not a cone in sight set up as a net, nothing. Hmm I thought to myself, what happened to Pond Hockey? has it been outlawed or something, or is it something that just doesn't happen anymore. 

What I find interesting is that with the magic of the NHL Winter Classic series just wrapping up and everyone being so excited, for either have watched the game in the cold stands or on their TV's at home. Yet, I still don't see Pond Hockey being played like it was in the past. 

I can remember back when I was a kid (not so very long ago, some time in the mid 80's early 90's) that I couldn't wait to get home from school and grab my stick and skates and head to the end of the street with a bunch of my friends just to see if our rink wasn't snowed over and the net was still standing. To us, if there was daylight we would play until we just couldn't anymore. That was our NHL, everyone of us was a pro and though we never kept score, each one of us score the game winning goal of our game 7 finals in our dreams. That's what I miss, when I see the river without a net on it. 

With the cost of hockey being as expensive now a days, I am quite shocked to many more kids taking advantage of a rink that all it cost is some shovelling and a net. 

So in closing, I leave you with this excerpt for a piece from Jack Ellison:

It was hockey from the early morn to the darkening shades of the late afternoon with only a short break for a quickly devoured Campbell's Vegetable Soup for lunch. My closest friend Ken. You very rarely saw one of us without the other, we were inseparable. Our hockey sticks were battered and thin and only bore a slight resemblance to the hockey sticks we got each year for Christmas. The pond was a wide frozen body of water beside a well travelled highway to the distant land called the United States. But in our minds it was the Montreal Forum filled with screaming fans cheering on our every move. We would take turns being the great Maurice "The Rocket" Richard while the other would be all-star goalie Jacques Plante! It could have been minus 20 degrees Fahrenheit but we never felt the cold and icy winds... we were superstars.

On a few occasions I have revisited that hallowed ground where we spent hour upon hour, oblivious to time, our faces frozen as well as our ears and toes! The cheering of the imaginary crowds was all the inspiration we needed to fire a blistering shot through the imaginary pads each other was wearing. At the end of the day, we literally had to crawl home on our hands and knees, our ankles no longer being able to support our tired legs.

Those sweet memories have stayed with me for a lifetime. I'm sure with my last breath of life, the vision of Ken and me will flash before my eyes. Ah yes, hockey, it was what young Canadian boys lived for back then!

Jack Ellison