Iceman Hockey league brings together novices and pros alike
On the outside, Iceman Hockey seems like just another shinny league but a closer look reveals a close-knit, inclusive community where the only requirement is a passion for the sport.
League founder Andrew Yip created the program because he never had the chance to play sports in his childhood, and wanted a safe and supportive place to learn something he’d always loved — hockey.
“My family was definitely more focused on academics, and while that was rewarding for me, I went through a period in my life where I really needed to do some sports” says Yip.
Produced by Devon Henry and Megan MacKay
In four years, the program has expanded into two levels (a beginner and an advanced league) and seen hundreds of players ranging from first-timers to WHL players on off-season come through the door. The group schedules ice time at various rinks around the city but can usually be found at the Triwood Arena, Flames Community Arenas or at the South Fish Creek Recreation Centre.
“People come to Iceman Hockey for all kinds of reasons,” says Yip, “and what they find is a community that is excited to have them and will support them in whatever they came here to do.”
Clay Bresky is a family man with a wife, mother-in-law, and five daughters at home. He isn’t new to the sport of hockey, but found Iceman Hockey to be a great getaway from an often chaotic home.
“Physically, my conditioning’s gone through the roof since I’ve started playing every night. And it’s not technically a team, there are different guys every night, but there is a core group of players that really make it feel like a team, and I appreciate that,” says Bresky.
Mount Royal University athlete Megan Prudhomme is a hockey enthusiast who found other leagues to be unfriendly and highly aggressive.
“A lot of the guys in other places turn it into a contest, I had guys telling me to work harder or skate faster, and it really wasn’t very supportive… it wasn’t fun,” admits Prudhomme, “but it’s completely different here.”
The group gets together multiple times a week to play and practice. Yip frequently updates his Twitter and Facebook accounts with available ice times. Detailed information is available at www.icemanhockey.ca
Editors note: In a previous version of this article, Shirky was quoted instead of Bresky.