Organized hockey has been off the table for months due to COVID-19, and many of those who would prefer to live with skates on their feet are taking it hard.
One die-hard hockey player, Mick DeRoo-Ludvig, scratched the itch by turning the questionable ice surface of Chase Creek into his own private rink.
In a video shared by his former junior team the Kamloops Storm, DeRoo-Ludvig can be seen skating up the narrow frozen stream, going bar down on an overhead bridge and sliding face first into the frigid water through a hole in the ice.
The video cuts to a title card reminding hockey players who have had games and seasons cancelled to keep their heads up and look forward to future ice time.
Encouraging the hockey community is a major objective for DeRoo-Ludvig, who grew up in a hockey family. His dad Jan is a former NHL player who opened an outdoor rink and offered training clinics to young players this winter. Growing up, the whole family enjoyed time on the ice and De-Roo Ludvig said he has been missing it since his beer-league team’s games were cancelled.
The final shot of the video, which DeRoo-Ludwig put together with a friend on Valentine’s Day once he saw the creek had frozen enough to skate on, shows him waist-deep in the creek re-taping the blade of his hockey stick. He said he wouldn’t have been up for the frigid finale if he hadn’t been taking cold water dips after workouts for months.
He said he has been happy to see he’s not the only one enjoying the cold this winter as the February cold snap left plenty of lakes and ponds in skateable condition. The outdoor ice quickly filled up with skaters and hockey players which showed DeRoo-Ludwig just how many people are missing the sport he loves.