Although many of us have been complaining about the freezing temperatures, backyard rink builders are loving it.
“I was really struggling to make ice before this cold front started on Monday,” said Jeff Clezy, who’s been running his sprinkler overnight.
“According to my ice log I’ve been getting 60 hours of sprinkler time and it’s finally starting to build up.”
His rink is 90 by 40 in size, has lights all the way around, and a heated building to get dressed in.
Every year on Boxing day the Clezy’s invite all their friends and family for a big three-on-three hockey tournament.
“We have family come all the way up from Calfornia to take part every year,” Clezy said.
Clezy won the best outdoor rink in Saskatoon last year as part of a contest put on by the Saskatoon Blades and Home Depot.
“It’s a great feeling because you get to see the smiles on everybody when they use it,” he said.
Clezy has two boys, ten-year-old Tanner and seven-year-old Rylan and that’s why he goes through all the labour of building the rink each and every year.
“My kids are very passionate about hockey,” he said.
“For them to have another excuse to get outside it’s great and all their buddies come over to play shinny all the time.”
Clezy isn’t the only hockey Dad who puts hundreds of hours into an outdoor rink, Ryan Zimmerman also has one in his backyard for his two boys.
“When I was a kid, I was always envious of the others who could just go to the rink and play hockey all the time,” he said.
“I wish I had ice closer to my back yard back then, so I didn’t want my kids to miss out on that opportunity.”
Zimmerman said even after hockey practice his two boys will rush out to squeeze even more time on the ice.
“We’re very fortunate that our kids are very active,” he said.
“They literally use it every day.”