Flames' outdoor memories

RANDY SPORTAK, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:56 PM ET

We asked Flames players for their favourite outdoor memories:

Jay Bouwmeester

With friends while playing junior in Medicine Hat

“There were a few times we’d go out and toodle around with guys we knew from school. It wasn’t often, but we’d have a good time.”

Mark Giordano

An outdoor practice for Team Canada during the Spengler Cup tournament in Switzerland

“I remember the glare off the ice because it was so sunny. Maybe we’ll have to pull out some tinted visors or have the black strips under the eyes.”

Cory Sarich

It’s maybe not a favourite memory, but stands out.

“In the spring, it was too warm and I went through the ice. I was in about two-and-a-half-feet of water with my brand new skates. My dad was not impressed.”

Adam Pardy

While with the QMJHL’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, they rode a bus all day from Sydney, NS, to the town of Matane, Que., and had to wait over night for a ferry to get across the St. Lawrence River to Baie Comeau. So, they practised outside at 10 p.m.

“It wasn’t as much fun as you’d think because we’d just spent 12 hours on a bus, and the coach made us go out there. But we divided into two teams to have a bit of fun. The next day, we took the ferry to Baie Comeau and had to play.”

Brendan Morrison

He’s spent more time skating outdoors this winter in Calgary than while growing up in the Vancouver suburb of Pitt Meadows

“I remember distinctly there were three times I skated outdoors. We had a cold snap and word got out a pond had frozen over and we’d be racing there to play shinny. This game takes you back to those moments, which were few and far between for me.”

Jarome Iginla

His first time skating when he was six

“My aunt took me with her boyfriend. I was terrible, falling all over. They weren’t my own skates, so that was part of it, but I loved it. The next year, I was playing.”

Tim Jackman

His older brother Todd hurting him

“We’d be out there until my parents made us go home. Once, when we finally came in, my ears were frozen and my brother decided to flick one of them, which really hurt. My dad went after him. That’s a story told around our house. He was a big bully.”

Tom Kostopoulos

Being forced to play as goalie by his older brother so his friends could have a game.

“He said he wouldn’t let me come out if I cried.”

Rene Bourque

Cars parked near the rink were in danger of being hit by stray pucks

“One day I was shooting at the boards, and shot one over the boards that landed on the guy’s lap while he was sitting in his car. It went right through his window. He wasn’t too happy and let my parents know about it.”

Matt Stajan

The outdoor rink in his backyard

“It was small and we really only had one end, one net. My neighbours would end up with a lot of pucks in their backyard.”

Curtis Glencross

Making it a double-header

“On game days we’d go on the outdoor rink and be playing shinny all afternoon and then have a hockey game that night.”

David Moss

The backyard rink at his house.

“I’d be skating until dinner time, come into the house with my skates on and eat quickly so I could get back out there as fast as I could. I don’t remember if we had skate guards on, because the linoleum took a beating. My parents had a lot of patience.”

Steve Staios

Christmas breaks

“It always seemed to be around the holidays or school break where we’d find an outdoor rink. We had a pond called Princess Point in Hamilton where we used to go and clear it off.”

Robyn Regehr

How he learned to body check

“Friends of ours had their own shooter tutors cut out of plywood so you didn’t need goalies. They also had really high snowbanks on the side, so we’d try to hit each other into, or even over the banks. Maybe that’s the roots of my hitting, there.”

Brendan Mikkelson

Plotting where to go that day with his dad

“In St. Albert, there was 15 or 20 rinks, and we knew which ones had the shacks to go warm up, what days they scraped and flooded and what days to go to ones near the public rinks or ones at the community rinks or by schools.”

Alex Tanguay

His hometown indoor rink had natural ice

“We didn’t have to shovel snow. I can almost say it was outside, because it was so cold inside the rink. It was unique to have a chance to skate every day. You skate with so much less effort. The ice is better when it’s frozen. And you’re breathing is easier. I wish we’d play on natural ice all the time.”

randy.sportak@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/RandySportak


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