Where I’ve played
Curious about where I played during the trip? Here’s the list.
The general format is:
- Date of game
- City (nearest major)
- Arena name
- Game type
- Other notes
Locations are listed in chronological order. Here we go!
- June 21, 2011
- Canlan Arena
- Late-night game; got done around 12:30 a.m.
- June 22, 2011
- Canlan Jemini Arena
- Sub goalie for a men’s league game
- My team was “The Eh Team” — great name! Even better, we won! Better still, the team bought me a beer! 😀
- June 26, 2011
- Trico Arena
- Lots of 18-year-olds. Other goalie had the same mask as me. Had to sweet-talk my way into a spot.
- July 7, 2011
- UAF Patty Center
- 4 goalies. Many 18/19/20-yo junior hockey players
- July 19, 2011
- Takhini Arena
- Mostly young kids, less than 10 years old. One of the kids thanked me for being there, since having a goalie “is more fun.”
- July 25, 2011
- Richmond Ice Center
- Some of the guys had never played before. I was the only goalie.
- July 27, 2011
- Kingsgate Arena
- Lopsided teams. Nice locker room. Got paid $10.
- July 30, 2011
- Winterhawks Skating Center
- Great session. Mostly adults, 18 or so to 30ish. A few other goalies. Some of the skaters worked with me on drills, taking good shots.
- August 3, 2011
- San Jose
- Sharks Ice San Jose
- I’d played at this arena back when I lived in California, so I knew to call ahead of time, very early in the morning, to reserve a goalie spot. I was successful.
- August 14, 2011
- Las Vegas
- Las Vegas Ice Center
- Other goalie refused to switch ends. Met a shift manager at the Bellagio (Trevor). Followed this up with being a hockey goalie busker in downtown Las Vegas, during which I made $20.
- August 16, 2011
- Oceanside Arena
- Lots of ASU players. 4 goalies. Got paid $10.
- August 18, 2011
- Blades Multiplex
- I was the only goalie. There were three skaters, two young guys and one old guy. Thanks to Tyler’s dad, I have actual photos to document this session!
- August 20, 2011
- Ice Ranch
- In my opinion, I was the most skilled of the three goalies who showed up
- August 22, 2011
- Cheyenne Ice and Events Center
- I was the only goalie. About 10 skaters showed up, mostly kids. We played half-ice.
- August 24, 2011
- Salt Lake City
- County Ice Arena
- At the start of the session, there were two goalies and two skaters. By the end, there were two goalies and three skaters. The skaters were kind enough to work with us goalies on drills. The arena was really nice, and it had a great view of the mountains from the ice.
- August 26, 2011
- Idaho Ice World
- Good skate. Felt like about C2 speed. Recorded on my Flip — here’s me making a save during this session.
- August 30, 2011
- Centennial Ice Arena
- Three goalies. Two full benches. Skill level was generally high. One of the skaters was wearing a Goalcrease jersey and looked familiar, but I didn’t get around to asking his name. One of the skaters was wearing jean shorts instead of breezers — that’s hard-core.
- September 1, 2011
- Rapid City
- Roosevelt Park Ice Arena
- Four goalies showed up, but then one decided to skate out. Including him, there were three skaters. A new high in the goalie:skater ratio. Needless to say, we worked on drills instead of playing a game.
- September 7, 2011
- University of Wisconsin rec center — “The Shell”
- Everybody else appeared to be undergrad students, so I was the oldest by far. The skaters were all quite skilled.
- September 10, 2011
- Cedar Rapids
- Cedar Rapids Ice Arena
- Good turnout, good guys. About eight adults and a half-dozen kids. About 15 minutes into the session, it turned into a half-ice 3v3 game, which was fun.
- September 12, 2011
- Nelson Center
- Nominally a drop-in, but it was just me and three skaters. Got some good ice-level video with the Flip.
- September 13, 2011
- St. Louis
- St. Peters Rec Plex
- A true 5v5 drop-in game, plus a few on the bench. Good hockey. One of the most fun drop-in games I’ve played on this trip. Four goalies showed up, including one who seemed to be more accustomed to playing roller (he wasn’t shuffling at all, and he seemed to be unfamiliar with how far he’d slide on ice).
- September 16, 2011
- Municipal Ice Complex
- True drop-in game. Three goalies, including one septuagenarian. Several minor-pro players. Many engineers, many transplants, and a surprising number of people who grew up in Alabama.
- September 19, 2011
- Centennial Sportsplex
- Three goalies. Two full benches. Lots of Predators fans among them, for obvious reasons. Left after 90 minutes, but according to one of the goalies, the session usually lasts “until they kick us off the ice,” which apparently can be over three hours from the start. That would be quite a lot of pick-up hockey.
- September 21, 2011
- Iceland Sports Complex
- Sub goalie
- Phil saw one of my early stories on Reddit and invited me to play with his team. Great group of guys on the team. The normal goalie skated out to let me play net. Unfortunately, I made some errors, and we ended up losing. 🙁 Still a lot of fun, though.
- September 22, 2011
- Indianapolis World Skating Academy
- Three goalies. Good skate. In contrast to my sub-goalie-ing in Louisville, I was making lots of great stops at this session.
- September 25, 2011
- South Charleston Memorial Ice Arena
- I was the only goalie at the start of the 2-hour session, but half way through, one of the skaters borrowed a set of goalie pads and stepped into the net for the first time in her (yes, her) life. Good skate, very friendly. Lots of interest in the trip from the arena staff and the other players.
- September 27, 2011
- Chiller Easton
- Fun skate. A former NHLer was there, skating down to our level, of course. Faced lots of breakaways, even by drop-in standards.
- September 30, 2011
- Ann Arbor
- Ann Arbor Ice Cube (a.k.a. A2Ice3)
- Light attendance, but two goalies plus enough skaters for 4v4. Nice rink. Recorded video of the session from a different angle than normal: slightly behind the net. I seem to be moving quicker than I have in the past.
- October 1, 2011
- University of Waterloo — Columbia Icefields
- Sub goalie
- Matt from the GSBB hooked me up with a spot tending goal for his team. It was a bit faster game than I’m used to, but it was great fun. I think I was pretty solid overall. Unfortunately, my lack of breakaway-stopping skill showed; we lost 5-1. Great team camaraderie.
- October 2, 2011
- Canlan Ice Sports York
- Participant at goalie clinic
- Went to the Sunday evening group goalie clinic run by McGuire Goaltending. It was good to give my game a tuneup. One of the kids there, also a student, was playing without a hand on his glove side; impressive.
- October 4, 2011
- Canlan Ice Sports York
- Sub goalie
- Same rink as the clinic, different day. Steve saw the Puck Daddy post about the trip and offered to skate out in order for me to tend goal for his Tuesday-night team. It was fun. Great group of guys. Also, we won! 7-3.
- October 7, 2011
- Sportsplexe 4 Glaces Pierrefonds
- Found out about this rink from Vimal, a student at nearby Concordia University. Fun skate, albeit a bit lopsided. I was the only goalie, so I switched sides every 10 minutes or so. First time I have had to pay for a drop-in game on this trip ($7).
- October 8, 2011
- The Legion Rink (?)
- Served as a goalie for a women’s hockey clinic. The first half hour was drills and the final hour was a scrimmage. I’m counting this one as a drop-in even though it doesn’t fit perfectly. Found out about this from Steph, who was one of the women skaters there. Huge range of skill levels, but still fun.
- October 10, 2011
- Willie O’Ree Place
- Drop-in (private)
- This privately pick-up game was organized by Cosmin, a researcher who moved to Canada from Romania over a decade ago. Cosmin was going to play goalie, but he gave up his net to allow me to check New Brunswick off my list. Held on Canadian Thanksgiving.
Prince Edward Island
- October 11, 2011
- Cody Banks Arena
- Sub goalie
- Wes worked hard to find me this game. In spite of my team having only a guy or two on the bench for most of the game, we held in there against the much better staffed opposition for the first 20 minutes. I was making decent saves, and my D-men were coming to the rescue when I let out some risky rebounds. The last 30 minutes of the game, my team ran out of steam, and we got walloped. We lost.
Newfoundland and Labrador
- October 17, 2011
- Corner Brook
- Kinsmen Arena
- Unfortunately, only five skaters and I showed up. I took shots for a while, and then the skaters organized into a sort of rotating 3 v. 2 game, full ice. All of the guys were friendly, and four of them were from Newfoundland itself. I was by far the youngest guy on the ice.
Nova Scotia #1
- October 18, 2011
- Sackville Sports Stadium
- Todd, with whose group I will be playing a pickup game later, helps coach a junior high hockey team. They have only one goalie on the team, so Todd invited me to come to a practice and fill the other net. It was fun and humbling — those kids got more pucks past me than I’d like to admit!
Nova Scotia #2
- October 18, 2011
- BMO Centre Bedford
- Drop-in (private)
- David put me in touch with Todd (mentioned above), who runs a weekly private game. It was a great group of guys and a lot of fun. A photojournalist from CTV News was at the game getting shots for a segment on my trip. Todd gave me a souvenir Sackville Flyers jersey.
Nova Scotia #3
- October 19, 2011
- Dartmouth Sportsplex
- Drop-in (private)
- David also put me in touch with Sandy, who, like Todd, runs a weekly private game. In this case, it’s been more or less the same group of guys getting together to play hockey for the past 25 years. Wide range of backgrounds and skill levels, but they all knew how to have fun. One of the guys, Doug, was an orthopedic surgeon and had done knee replacements on several of the other players. Never know who you’ll meet playing hockey, eh?
- October 20, 2011
- Androscoggin Bank Colisée
- Drop-in (private)
- Todd (from Halifax) put me in contact with Bob, who connected me with a group that’s been skating together for many years. It was a fun game. They even sprung for a ref. Three goalies; the two regulars and I rotated every few minutes. Bob had medals made commemorating the trip and my visit; unfortunately, Bob himself could not be there due to a business trip to China. Fun atmosphere before and after the game, too.
- October 23, 2011
- University of Vermont Gutterson Rink
- A group of Pikes from the UVM chapter rented a block of ice time for some pond hockey. Just a handful of guys showed up, but it was fun and relaxed.
- October 24, 2011
- Plymouth State University ice arena
- I started as the only goalie, but then another netminder showed up about 15 minutes into the session. There were plenty of skaters present. I think I was the only one on the ice who wasn’t an undergraduate student. The rink itself was amazing. I think it was the nicest arena I have played in on this trip, perhaps ever.
- October 27, 2011
- Phillips Academy Andover — Harrison Rink
- Hat tip to Scot, who informed Phillips Academy that I was in the area. Phillips Academy invited me to their lunchtime skate. There was a good group of people present. I was having issues with my skates, and I also had to deal with a cut toe-tie lace, but I still made some saves. There were lots of goals, too. Also, I mispronounced “self-deprecating.” Still fun!
- October 28, 2011
- University of Rhode Island — Boss Arena
- Wide range of skill levels at the skate. Some old guys, some guys around 30, some undergrads from URI, some high schoolers skipping school, and an eighth-grader also skipping school (his father was at the skate, too). Three goalies. Two hours. Was getting pretty tired at the end.
- October 31, 2011
- New Haven
- Yale University — Ingalls Rink
- Though nearly foiled by the surprise news that goalies needed to pre-register for the session, I did not have another Calgary moment. Instead, one of the registered goalies, Bill, took pity on me and my story and gave me his spot for a little while. Including warm-ups, I spent about 20 minutes on the ice. The criteria were satisfied: I played goal on ice, and I made several saves.
- November 2, 2011
- New York
- Chelsea Piers
- Large windows flanked the rink, which was set on a pier into the Hudson. I was the only goalie for the first 15 minutes, but then another guy showed up. Rather lopsided skate. I found it tremendously difficult to concentrate. Also, I was having issues with my skates again. I think my left skate got flat-spotted when it was sharpened in New Hampshire.
- November 4, 2011
- Twin Oaks Ice Rink
- Just me and, depending on the time, two to six skaters. Played 3v3 for a while, took shots for a while, and played 1v1 (plus me) for the last half hour when there were only two skaters left. Very relaxed skate. Was a good opportunity to regroup after feeling pretty exhausted for the past few weeks. Got paid $10.
- November 5, 2011
- Flyers Skate Zone Northeast
- About nine skaters and I occupied the ice, giving us enough manpower for some half-sheet 4v4. It was really hard to track the teams, as the split was basically black versus navy blue. I let in a few strong-side goals that I really should have stopped, but overall I was satisfied with my play.
- November 8, 2011
- The Pond
- Very fun skate. Two goalies, eight skaters. I was in the zone; it was partial redemption for some of my earlier disasters.
- November 10, 2011
- Gardens Ice House
- Just enough for a 4v4 game. The other goalie seemed to be new to the position. Why do I say that? Well, his motions on the ice for one, but the dead giveaway was that he was wearing player’s skates.
District of Columbia
- November 11, 2011
- Fort Dupont Ice Arena
- High school team practice
- Even though DC isn’t a state, I couldn’t pass up the chance to skate at its only full-time ice arena. The coach of the team was generous enough to let me participate in the team’s practice even though they already had two goalies.
- November 15, 2011
- Ice Palace
- That’s right: Hawaii has ice hockey. There’s only one rink in the state, so that’s where I went to play some drop-in. Good turnout; about eight skaters per side and two goalies. Wide range in skill levels. Surprisingly, not all of the players were transplants from the mainland; there were a handful of Hawaiians playing, too.
- November 18, 2011
- Newport News
- Hampton Roads Ice Plex
- My Virginia stop was down to either the Kettler Captials Iceplex in Arlington or this rink. Due to my staying in Williamsburg, the Hampton Roads Ice Plex won. As an aside, I find it interesting how some rinks style it “iceplex” while others use two words: “ice plex.” Two goalies and about sixteen skaters.
- November 19, 2011
- Cary Ice House
- Contrary to the reviews on Google, this rink wasn’t all that bad. I mean, it wasn’t great, but the ice was OK. The arena wasn’t too hot, which was good; some arenas feel like saunas.
- November 21, 2011
- Remember how I was talking about the North Carolina rink being nice and cold? Well, the rink in South Carolina was oppressively hot. I swear I felt hot air blowing down onto the ice. Anyhow, it was a so-so session. I found myself sometimes getting ahead of the play, and other times getting behind the play. One of the guys at the session was wearing a Mooseheads sweater, which was a neat reminder of Halifax.
- November 23, 2011
- IceForum Kennesaw
- The other goalie appeared to be about the same age as me, but the skaters — about 24 in total — were junior hockey players between the ages of 18 and 20. Most of them played for the Atlanta Knights. It was a rather fast game.
- November 25, 2011
- Jacksonville Ice and Sportsplex
- Great turnout: about 24 skaters and 4 goalies. There were 3 additional goalies who showed up, for a total of 7, but they were turned away. One stuck around anyway and hopped on the ice in the last 20 minutes of the session when one of the original 4 goalies left. No shortage of goalies in northern Florida. Might have something to do with this rink being the only full time rink for over 85 miles in any direction.
- November 28, 2011
- Mississippi Coast Coliseum
- Mississippi was going to be a challenge due to the small number of rinks in the state, but fortunately Roy caught wind of my trip and invited me to fill a net in Biloxi at the icy home of the SPHL’s Surge. There were 14 skaters and 2 goalies at the skate, with talents ranging from “beginner” to “really great.” About half of the people were from the North, but that meant about half were from the South, which was great.
- December 1, 2011
- Baton Rouge
- Leo’s Iceland
- One of the more organized stick-and-pucks I’ve been to. The rink was separated using bumpers. One-third of the rink was for the little kids (squirts and mites) and the remainder of the rink was for the bigger kids and kids at heart. Our section even had a coach who was running drills for everybody. I’m not sure if he was an official part of the stick-and-puck, and the drills were more for the benefit of the skaters than the goalies, but it was still a nice touch.
- December 3, 2011
- Sugar Land Ice Center
- A private drop-in game, organized by Bob. My fraternity brother Josh plays hockey in Houston and connected me with Bob’s group. Two full benches. Went down for a shot when I should have stayed up, took the puck in the dangler, and watched the dangler shatter into a dozen pieces.
- December 9, 2011
- Oklahoma City
- Blazers Ice
- Fun, low-key game. Several good skaters were there, including a young guy from Canada and another young guy who wanted to play in Canada.
Arkansas #1, #2, and #3
- December 11, 2011
- Jones Center
- League game, another league game, and drop-in
- Lots of hockey! About 2:45, in fact. I played two league games, thanks to Todd of the Ozark Hockey League, and when I was getting ready to leave the ice after the second game, the guys from the drop-in session asked me to stay around. My play was awful during the first league game, was better during the second league game, and was pretty hot by the drop-in.
- December 12, 2011
- Kansas Expocentre
- About 16 skaters and 3 goalies. Two hours of ice time. Wide range of skill levels and abilities represented, but generally pretty decent. About half a dozen guys from the KU club team were there. The dressing room was carpeted, which was a rare treat.
- December 14, 2011
- Sidner Arena
- Well-attended session. Kids and adults, wide spread of ages. My friend Blake coaches a bantam hockey team, and many of his team’s players were there as sort of an informal practice. Blake, too.
- December 15, 2011
- Motto McLean Arena
- About 18 skaters and 2 goalies. This might sound silly, but the other goalie was rocking a really nice pad setup. Very stylish. Yes, you make more saves when you look sharp.
- December 17, 2011
- Grand Forks
- Purpur Arena
- Organized by Erik, who learned about my trip from Puck Daddy. Fast skate; I was in over my head. Still a lot of fun, and while there were numerous missed saves, there were a decent number of successful saves, too. Excellent ice — nice and hard.
- December 20, 2011
- St. Paul
- Xcel Energy Center
- The Minnesota Wild front-office staff invited me to play at their employee pickup game. I had never played at the Xcel Center, and it seemed like the perfect place to wrap up the trip in Minnesota. The guys were great, the media was there to document everything, and I had a wonderful time. What a way to end the adventure!