Poulin: The Icebox offers skating for everyone
Icebox ice rink has skating and hockey programs for all skill levels and abilities. The Icebox offers everything you need to get started including skate and stick rentals. The rentals include both hockey and figure skates. Many ski teams find the “open ice” and “stick and puck” to be a great team activity.
There are daily fees to use the ice for the many programs Icebox offers, and a season pass is also available. The season pass includes “open skate,” “stick and puck,” and “drop-in hockey.” There is also family friendly stick and puck. For those who do not know, stick and puck is an opportunity for anyone to take the ice and try playing hockey. The open ice allows you to work on stickhandling, shooting, and basic skating techniques. The stick and puck program allows people of all skill levels to take the ice and play hockey, and full hockey gear is not required, though a helmet is recommended. Open skate allows ice time for figure skaters and those who do not wish to play hockey. Open skate is a good time to work on skating technique without the stress of pucks being shot and bounced around nearby.
The adult league offers three levels of hockey from those who have played their whole lives to those who are just getting started. Separating skill levels makes it fun for teams who have not played competitive hockey before by allowing them to skate with others who are on a similar skill level. Hockey is a sport that can be very frustrating if you are new and playing against people who grew up skating, and are on a much higher skill level.
Teammates Shanna Lalley and Andy Lewis who play in the D league enjoy the relaxed environment of friendly hockey.
“We don’t get any of the ego,” Lalley said. “The team last week had never played before and everyone was helping each other out [during the game].” Lalley is most impressed with the number of women who show up to play. She estimates that almost half of the D league are women at this time. Both Lewis and Lalley had played some hockey before, but did not grow up with strong hockey backgrounds. Lewis had played some as a kid, and now utilizes stick and puck a few times a week to work on his skills in between games.
The D league is the most beginner friendly in the adult hockey league. Many of the players in D league did not grow up playing hockey, but found the sport later in life and enjoy it as much as the pros. The “C” league is for intermediate skaters, some who played hockey growing up, and some who did not. The “B” league is the most competitive, and has a majority of players who have a hockey background and played in high school and, some players, in college.
If you are not interested in joining one of the adult league teams, but still want to play occasionally, the Icebox holds drop-in hockey where friendly scrimmages are held. Drop-in allows skaters of every level to play competitively without having to commit to a team. This is a great program for those with work schedules that do not allow them to attend adult league games regularly. Drop-in is held several times a week, usually on nights when there are no adult league games. There is also a “35+” drop-in that allows the upper age bracket a chance to play only against each other.
To view the daily schedule for ice times visit http://www.fraservalleyrec.org/site/epage/103831_964.htm.
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