The Outdoor Rink

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When I first got on the bus in the Fred Meyer parking lot, I was so excited for the trip. The bus wasn’t just a regular school bus but it was a charter bus. Our team had planned on going to Salmon, Idaho for a tournament. The tournament was going to be played on an outdoor rink. My mom was coming with me because my dad had to take my brother to Canada for his hockey tournament. It would be the first time I would be playing on an outdoor rink. Playing ice hockey on an outdoor rink is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.
On the bus, we watched movies and talked to each other about the tournament. Some of my teammates were playing their PSP on the bus. The drive was going to be 15 hours long. When we arrived, it was snowing and very cold. We had a couple of hours to rest before the game. After the rest, the team got on the bus and headed for the rink. It was beginning to get dark. When we got there, the outdoor rink was amazing. I rushed out of the bus to see the outdoor rink, a game was going on. The coach called us over and we got our hockey bags out of the bus. We walked around the rink to the locker rooms and right next to the outdoor rink we saw that there was a pond. I couldn’t see it very well because it was at night.
After everybody was dressed we walked out of the locker room to the benches. We were waiting for the referees because you couldn’t go on the ice until the referees were on. The referees had gone on the ice and waved us to get on. Our coach told us to run onto the ice before a game because he said it would intimidate the other team so we did. It felt different skating on an outdoor rink than on an indoor rink because the ice sheet was very rough. The rink was a different atmosphere than an indoor rink because it was outside and the lights were on. Also, you could see the cars parked outside, people warming themselves up next to a bonfire, and the night sky right above you. In the warm-ups while we were passing I could see that the puck was jumping up into the air because of the rough ice and nicks that was on the ice sheet. I started the game as a center and scored one goal. Our team lost that game 4-2 against the Wenatchee Blades. The Wenatchee Blades were one of the best teams at the tournament. Our team the Portland Junior Hawks were not the worst team there but not the best team either. After the game we went into the locker room and our coach talked to us about the game. He wasn’t worrying about our first game because that was the first time we had played on an outdoor rink.
I got undressed quickly and put my bag by my mom. The parents were drinking beer by the bonfire but my mom wasn’t because she doesn’t like beer that much. Everybody loaded their bags and got on the charter bus. I sat next to Chris Edwards, one of my closest friends on the team and we talked about all the big hits that had happened during the game. One of the times was when their forward was gliding to the net and three of our players checked him at the same time. Our team manager had gotten it on camera. Everybody was very hungry so instead of going back to the hotel, the driver drove us to the little town of Salmon, Idaho. It was so small that it didn’t even have a Fred Meyer’s or McDonalds. The driver told us to be back on the bus in two hours. We ate dinner with one of my teammates named Jackson. We walked around the small town and picked somewhere to eat. After we finished eating we still had about an hour until the bus would leave. Jackson’s mom had suggested we walk back to the hotel instead of waiting for the charter bus for another hour. We decided to walk back and on the way we stopped by a candy store and got some things there. When we got into the hotel I slept early because I was really tired.
The next few days we had a tie and a loss. On the last day we had an early morning game and after we skated on the pond. My teammate Mitchell Guha’s dad was taking half of the team to the pond for an hour then took the other half and did the same thing. We got laced up and started skating on the pond. I was a little bit cautious at first because I thought I might fall in or something like that. There were mounds of snow on the sides of the pond so we skated towards the snow and then jumped into the snow. It was a very fun experience, there also was a net there so someone would be goalie and then we would use our gloves as pucks. I would skate up to the goal and throw my glove at the net. When I got off the pond my mom told me it used to be a parking lot so there was concrete under the ice sheet. It would be possible to have a pond there though. Everybody left to go back to the hotel to pack for the long trip back.
Playing ice hockey on an outdoor rink is one of the most fun things I’ve ever done. The atmosphere of the outdoor rink was very different than the indoor rink. It was exciting to skate on the outdoor pond. That was my experience playing on an outdoor rink.





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