Hooray for snow!
It’s shinny season. Except nobody plays shinny anymore.
Shinny is road hockey, played on snow-covered streets with sticks, a ball and nets. Before every kid in Saskatchewan got a hockey net for Christmas, two big chunks of snow served as the goal posts.
No slapshots! No raisies! And if a neighbourhood dog grabbed the ball, there was a timeout until he brought it back. First team to 10 wins.
Frozen toes and fingers from all-day shinny marathons. Teams were chosen fairly by throwing hockey sticks, one left, one right, until there were none left.
Some of Saskatchewan’s all-time best hockey players — Bernie Federko, Brian Propp, Gordie Howe, Bryan Trottier — told stories about playing on their nearby streets as kids. The best scenes from the movie “Wayne’s World” featured Wayne and Garth playing shinny before yelling “Car!” They moved the nets aside and the game stopped until the vehicle passed. “Game on!” And the game resumed.
The snow is back. The shinny games aren’t.