Editor’s note: Westminster, Maryland (which used to be the summer home of the Baltimore Ravens) is not a hockey hotbed. There isn’t a hockey rink in Carroll County, and Westminster High doesn’t have a hockey team. The closest rinks are in Frederick and Reisterstown. But one Caps family has bucked the trend. Samantha N. explains.
Yes, I know the idea sounds crazy. A backyard rink in Maryland? Is that even possible? You hear about the colder places being able to do so up North, but with Maryland’s bipolar weather, the chances of creating an outdoor hockey rink seems almost impossible. Well, not for our family. With the help of the polar vortex, we were able to bring hockey literally outside our front door.
How did we even get the idea? Do you know those moments when you are sitting on YouTube looking up hockey fights, and you somehow end up watching people build backyard hockey rinks, in envy? No? Well, that’s what happened to us. It was weeks of deliberation and concentration before we decided that we were going to build the rink.
It all started with 6” PVC pipe, and a lot of it. We wanted two ten-foot pipes for the length, and five ten-foot pipes for the length. Then, we attached the pipes together. We placed blue tarp on the side, making sure that it was long enough to go over the pipe. Finally, we pulled out the hose and began to fill the rink. It took over twenty-four hours to fill to the top, even longer for it to freeze, and a few more days before we were able to skate on it.
After playing on the ice for a while, we noticed a major problem: the pucks kept flying off the rink and were lost. So, what could make this rink even better?? Obviously boards and netting! My uncle and my dad sat at the kitchen table, trying to figure out the best way to go about this. A fun trip to Home Depot and Play it Again Sports later, I went outside to see this…
Now it is hockey central right outside. We have friends and family over all the time. I drop the gloves pretty much every game (so much I could probably contend with Tom Wilson in penalty minutes). We went to Play it Again Sports and bought a lot of hockey gear, including skates, sticks, and goalie pads. As huge Caps and hockey fans, this was such a fun project to do.