B.C.’s cold snap is allowing a Ladner father to realize a hockey dream.
After waiting weeks for winter to stick, Chris Dinter’s sons, six-year-old Sam and four-year-old Jack, are now playing shinny in their own backyard.
“I said, ‘When I’m an adult, I’m gonna build my own rink for my own kids and no one’s going to say no’ and so this year I did,” Dinter told Global News.
As a kid, Dinter learned a young Wayne Gretzky honed his skills on a backyard sheet. But growing up in Vancouver, he was denied outdoor ice due to the mild climate.
The B.C. father never gave up and this winter, he finally achieved his goal – but once the boards were built, replicating the Great One’s home-ice advantage was not without challenges.
“We bought the liner and we laid it down…probably at least a month filled with water. It was just a swimming pool.”
Waiting for freezing temperatures became part of the game.
“Sometimes it’d be like 10 degrees out and the kids would be like, ‘Did the rink freeze last night?'” he said.
“If it didn’t freeze, a lot of people were making fun of me.”
After weathering weeks of skepticism from friends and family, the chill was on Dinter’s side by early February and he was able to transform his garden into the perfect ice hockey rink.
Seeing his two boys play Canada’s game on his backyard sheet is something he says he will never forget.
“It’s really, really magical actually,” said Dinter proudly.
“I have a real ice rink in my backyard,” added Dinter’s son Sam.
“I like to skate, skate on it with my dad.”
“We play hockey on it,” said his son Jack, who told Global News that scoring goals is his favourite part.
But the two young brothers don’t brag about their backyard ice.
“I don’t tell my friends, I do not tell anyone,” Sam said.
While the grassroots rink may not remain secret for long, Dinter says topping it won’t be easy.
“I have to outdo the skating rink, which is going to be a tough one. I don’t know, maybe a giant slip-and-slide.”
© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.