Pond hockey is as Canadian as maple syrup. In truth, any form of hockey is as Canadian as it gets. Like sledding, it's a great way to spend time outdoors during the freezing winter months.
Hockey in our family tends to be a last-minute, pick-up, all ages invited type of affair. When the suggestions is made, everyone scrambles to find gear and clothing thick enough for the -25 temperatures - it doesn't matter what it looks like so long as it keeps you warm and dry. For readers living in warmer climes, it seems that the bluer the sky and the brighter the sun on a winter's day then the colder the temperature.
Fingers freeze as you awkwardly tie your skates in a standing position - the snow is too cold and wet to sit on for such a task. The first job is to clean off the snow - although there's only been a sprinkling since the last game so it doesn't take too long. In fact, the rest of the pond is a great place for the little ones to learn how to stay upright on skates - there's nothing to run into, plenty of space to move about and enough snow for a soft landing.
A heated game ensues. Goals are celebrated. The older boys show up to show the little ones how it's done. And when everyone is no longer able to move their fingers and toes and cheeks are a bit frost-bitten then it's time to enjoy some hot chocolate and fresh pizza. Good times!