Backyard Rink Game Ideas

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

Have you ever found yourself in this situation: backyard rink and lucky enough to have a goalie – but only a few shooters? Not enough for a full tilt, so what do you do? Well, a couple buddies and myself had the same problem and took some inspiration from a sport I’m not generally a big fan of, basketball.  With 3 skaters, a goalie and a small rink, we decided to make up a hockey version of 21.

It’s amazing how creative guys can get on the ice out of sheer boredom. So if you need something to do during the lockout, here’s a couple I’ve seen and a few of the rules. Have fun!

Hockey 21

This one is best played with a goalie, three shooters and a relatively narrow rink. It’s a smaller, differently scored version of the rebound game most guys have played at the end of practice.

- Just like the basketball version, one player starts the game with the puck in the slot, 15-20 feet out.

- The other two skaters stand by the top of the crease. Since you’re likely not wearing padding, stand towards the posts with your sticks in front. We’re not responsible for you getting whacked, man!

- Shooter up top shoots and everyone plays for a rebound until there’s a goal, the puck gets covered or goes out of play.

Scoring

Goal from the top gets 1 point

Goal from a rebound gets 2 points

Rebound that goes 5-Hole gets 3 points

- The player who scores a goal then goes up top to begin the next play

- A 5-hole rebound goal is 3 points for the scorer; it also sends the last player to touch the puck back to 0 (or back to 11 if their score was 11 or higher already).

- If you score three in a row from the slot on the original shot (not the rebound), you get a breakaway on the goalie that would be worth 2 points if you score. If you don’t score on the breakaway, play the rebound as usual.

- You have to hit 21 on the nose to win. So plan accordingly. Any scenario that puts you over 21 (ex. putting in a rebound with 20 already) sends you back to 15. Which you deserve for not being able to add properly.

One Timer Game

This game is great for Stick & Puck when there’s no goalie and guys are tired of playing posts.

You’ll need two nets. Take one net, and lay it down Crossbar out. So the bottom of the posts are lined up, touching, on both nets one in normal position and one lying down.

Everyone lines up, one at a time you skate in, pass the puck off the crossbar, then have to one time it on the way in. Obviously trying to put it into the opening at the top of the upright net.

To win, you need to hit 4 different one-timers: a slapshot, a snapshot, a backhander and between the legs (in no particular order).

Game rotates through each player in order. If you hit a shot, you immediately go again and try for the next shot.

With the net lying down, a lot of the upright goal is covered. Its tougher than it looks!. And you have to be sure to leave yourself space to get the puck up, and line the pass up at a good angle for the different shots.  Good luck!

Now here’s the fun part, We are going to put up a $50 Pure Hockey Gift card to the best original game submitted to us on the Pure Hockey Facebook Page

We’ll pick a winner Friday January 18th. Get creative…

(My brutal attempt at illustrating the net set up)


How To Clean Your Hockey Equipment

Smelly Hockey Equipment

There is nothing more unique to hockey than that fresh-out-of-the-locker room smell. While this stench can occasionally illicit incredible memories of game-winning goals and locker room celebrations, it is in no way an incredible thing. This smell is actually caused by bacteria that grow from the sweat, blood, common soil and other gross stuff that builds up on your equipment over time. If left untreated, these bacteria could potentially become very dangerous (not to mention the smell will only get worse). It can cause diseases and spread illness from player to player. Bacteria like to find cool, moist places where it can multiply and grow. While there are many professional cleaning companies that have expensive machines to clean your equipment and kill these bacteria, there are simpler (and cheaper) procedures that you can do at home that will help to reduce the risk of dangerous bacteria…and the smell.

 

The first and most important preventative measure that you can do is to air out your equipment as soon as possible after playing. This means emptying out the entire bag and letting the equipment air dry. If you can hang equipment to allow better air access that is preferred but laying equipment on the ground in an area with good air circulation will work just fine. Dry off the blades and holders of your skates and take the inside liners of the skates out so that air can reach the inside as well. Regularly spray your skates with a disinfectant spray to kill bacteria. To disinfect your helmet, wet a towel with warm water and apply a small amount of soap or shampoo to the towel. Take this soapy towel and wipe down the helmet completely. Be sure to wipe down the facemask taking special care to clean the chin cup. We recommend using tear-free shampoo in case you are not able to wash off all of the soap residue and some gets in your face the next time you play and sweat (non-stinging eyes leads to more goals). After the soap is applied and scrubbed in, use another wet towel to wipe away all of the soap from the helmet.

 

Skates and helmets require special attention when it comes to cleaning and disinfecting. As for the rest of your equipment, we recommend you follow these 6 steps every week or so to reduce the risk of bacteria build up and to help with the smell. You will be soaking your equipment so it is extremely important that you plan ahead and leave enough time after the cleaning for your gear to dry completely before you have to use it again. Here are the 6 steps that we have found to work:

How To Clean Your Hockey Equipment

 

Step 1: Fill a bathtub or large sink (large enough to fit all of your equipment) about 1/3 of the way with hot water. You will be putting your hands in the water so make sure it is not too hot to touch.

 

Step 2: Add about ¼ cup of laundry detergent to the tub as it is filling making sure that the detergent spreads and mixes into the water.

 

Step 3: Put all of the hockey gear (minus the skates and helmet) into the water. Be sure to dunk the gear so all of it is exposed to the detergent/water mixture. Let the gear soak for 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Step 4: Drain the tub or sink and clean out all of the soap. Rinse all of the equipment with clean, room temperature water to get all of the soapy residue off of your gear.

 

Step 5: Wring out any excess water and hang up all equipment to dry. Be sure to hang the gear in an area with good air ventilation so that it can dry in a reasonable amount of time.

 

Step 6: Spray and wipe down the empty hockey bag with a disinfectant spray. Make sure the bag and equipment are completely dry before re-packing your bag.

 

We recommend that you go through this process once a week or once every couple of weeks. Jerseys and socks can go in the washing machine but do not use the dryer in case of shrinking. Special attention will need to be given to jerseys and socks with logos or bright colors. Airing out equipment after every use is crucial as a preventative measure. Professional equipment cleaners are not necessary but usually have machines to kill bacteria and minimize smell. If your equipment is older and was not well-kept, this more intense method may be useful.

 

Hopefully these simple steps will lessen that smell that all non-hockey players complain about. We are sure that it will help to kill the bacteria on your equipment and, in the long run, will help to prevent sickness and diseases and keep you on the ice and playing the game we all love.

 

 
Have you had any luck getting the smell out of hockey gear? Let us know what your experience has been with it in the comments below!

 

Special thanks to: Hockey-University.com and LiveStrong for inspiration.

Offseason Hockey Training Tips Guide

 

Sometimes it’s hard to get motivated to train for hockey when the season ends. But maintaining and building your hockey fitness and awareness through the summer will help you start next season in top shape and ready to skate past your competitors. There are many things you can do to help your hockey game but let’s start with something you shouldn’t do:
Don’t Be a Couch Potato
You probably won’t be sitting on the couch watching TV – except for watching the Stanley Cup playoffs, we suppose.  But sitting at that computer on your gaming system for long periods can slow you down and actually make you lose fitness over the summer.  Get outside. Get in the gym. Stay active.
….and here’s some stuff you SHOULD do:

Rest and Recover
After a long, grueling hockey season, the body and the mind can need a recharge. Let your hockey injuries recover. Take time to reflect on how you’ve changed and grown as a hockey player through the past year.  Set goals and expectations for the summer’s off-season training – as well as for  the next season.

Improve Your Conditioning
Maintaining your cardiovascular and general hockey fitness is important to consider in the summer months.   Interval training is a great way to keep those lungs sharp for the upcoming season while working on that lower-body power that’ll take your game to the next level.  Running intervals – varied shorter-duration sprints – will build your body’s rest-and-recovery ability which help you get the most out of each shift on the ice.  Long-distance running is not ideal, as it’s not directly related to the physical demands of hockey.  While it’s ok to mix in some longer runs or rides on a bike, be sure to focus on the short-intervals like a sprinter.  Additionally, plyometrics and jumping exercises will also help that lower body strength and prepare you for the speed and explosive movement that hockey demands.

Strength Training
Access to weight training and strength training programs has increased in recent years and can be a valuable tool in the summer training regimen for hockey players.   It’s not just about maxing out the weight. Resistance training will help any hockey player get stronger and core work is crucial to your balance and stability, which have obvious benefits on the ice. But make sure you’re training with a qualified strength coach – the last thing you want to do is get hurt lifting and miss the start of the upcoming season as you spend time in the treatment room.  A qualified strength coach can also help you get the most from a program that’s specific to you, your position and your goals.

Try Something Different
Playing another sport or pursuing other activities will your body recover and recharge for hockey while maintaining and improving your overall fitness.  Sports such as soccer and basketball can help maintain hockey-related fitness while providing a new stimulus for your muscles as the field or court will challenge you in different ways than the ice.  Sports such as tennis or supervised rock-climbing can help you maintain the motor skills needed to handle the stick while skating.  Yoga or active stretching can help you recover from  hockey season and prepare your body to fight off injury in the upcoming season.  Different sports and activities also help you recharge the brain.  Mental and physical fitness training all in one?  Sounds like a great plan.

Don’t Burn Out
Especially for young hockey players, year-round hockey can lead to a loss of interest and passion for a sport, not to mention increasing the potential for injury.  You love hockey – but sometimes it’s best to step away temporarily so you can come back stronger – and more committed and passionate than ever.
Finally, it’s TOTALLY OK to always THINK about hockey during the offseason. See here:


How To Fit Women’s Hockey Skates

How To Fit Womens Hockey Skates

By Carly Stella, Assistant Manager, Dover, NH

Being a female hockey player, there arises some scenarios with having gear fit properly.  Due to the shear nature of our bone structure, and in most cases, height, there comes a time when things don’t seem “quite right” when trying equipment on.  Remember, gear is fit with using a male model as well as foot cast for skates.  Men we are not! I have spoken with a number of female customers that seem to have the same issues.  There has yet to be a company that can find a good design to fit all shapes and sizes.  Even all the way down to our feet, paying close attention to what we choose for gear is essential.

For me, the hardest piece of equipment, I find, to fit properly are skates.  Most women’s feet, honestly, fit closer to the way a junior skate boot is formed.  Yes, most of us are, however, I know that there are many issues we have with finding a skate that fits the space between the boot height and where it’s tied and where the top of our feet start, as well as the toe box.  Heel lifts, as well as insoles, have been a tremendous help to our female customers, as well as doing slight modifications to the boot.  For example; making an additional eyelet, generally where Reebok places their lace locks, minimizes lace bite and makes it easier to tighten the boot around the ankle.

A lower profile skate seems to be best for the structure of our feet, such as a Bauer Vapor or CCM U+ series.  I have noticed that the wider toe box on the CCM seems to allow for shorter toes and where they meet our foot.  The Vapor series offers a low profile at the top of the foot, leaving “less of a void” between the ankle and the skate. There is always the option to opt for pro tongues, or a thicker tongue to help fill the skate as well.

There are many of us that have no issues with skates, which makes the joy of lacing up a new pair even better! I suggest to try on brands outside your normal comfort zone if you are having skate issues.  Even small adjustments like the way you tie your skates, or wearing different socks can make a world of difference!

Work hard, play harder… Always!!