I have to post a short video of the last time I had the chance to go for an old fashioned “shinny” during the Christmas holidays at the Craik Memorial Ice Rink. The name of the rink defines itself in every aspect from the character it displays to the history that has been made throughout its continuous life cycle.
There aren’t too many small town barns that look like this anymore due to the fact that they are either no longer standing or have been shut down and replaced by a new ice arena.
As you can see in the video there is almost zero plexi glass surrounding the side boards which means the game has to be played in a completely different way than it would be in a city rink or newer arena. Some may call this home ice advantage but others will call it a nightmare. Regardless of how you look at it I can’t help but still enjoy its original shape and form. Unfortunately the old vintage wooden roof rafters had to be covered due to constant condensation issues that were occurring during the early and late months of the warmer seasons which caused hundreds of tiny ice bubbles to form on the ice surface which makes it a little difficult and dangerous to play on.
Other than that minor change you will still find the old wooden church pew benches for indoor lobby seating and the lone blue plastic seat that was put in place behind the home goal inside the lobby in memory of my grampa ‘Willard Archibald’ who was known for his voluntary top notch, non biased, non home team advantage goal judging skills. Many games were definitely won and lost in accordance to his final goal judging decisions. And call it bittersweet but anytime one of his own grandchildren would score a goal on that net it would always cost him a dollar the second he flipped that goal light on.
That is definitely only one of many memories I will always cherish being a part of growing up playing in that classic old barn.