Saturday September 24th, I had the opportunity to go to the home opener for the Fernie Ghostriders, our local hockey team here in Fernie! It.Was.Awesome! With both Ashley and myself being new to Canada this was an grand experience. We are both from New Zealand and were super excited to hit our first Ice Hockey game. Luckily that was just what the next Red Tree Lodge Deskie Adventure was scheduled to be!
Hotel Close To Fernie Hockey Rink
We agreed to meet at the Red Tree since the hotel is so close to the Fernie hockey rink. From there we picked up our discounted tickets from the Front Desk, and then headed across the street to the Fernie Memorial Arena. The game was the Fernie Ghostriders vs Creston Valley Thunder Cats, and we were eager to see the season start here in Fernie. There were a couple of guests of the hotel looking for something to do that evening, so we invited them to join us at the game and walked over to the rink.
When we arrived, a table full of hockey pucks caught my eye! Oooooo! I wandered over and saw they have rubber pucks numbered from 1 to about 200. These were for the ‘Puck Toss’ $2 a puck – if you are not familiar with the puck toss I will explain. The aim is to toss your hockey puck into or closest to the target in the middle of the rink. In this case the target was a bucket with a burger on it. I bought two pucks but with my luck reached no way near the target, of course! I don’t think Ashley did any better either. We also got our inflatable “Bam Bams” from this table too! They were fun, loud, and eventually got annoying thanks to me being an overenthusiastic fan. I was just supporting the boys all the way!
The start of the game was unreal – they turned the lights off and each member of the team came out one by one with an individual announcement. Once all the Ghostriders were out on the Ice, the lights came back on and two figure skaters skated around the rink, holding the Canadian flag as the National Anthem played, which was really cool and unexpected.
Fernie Ghostriders Hockey
The game was so much fun to watch! Even though I’ve never been to an ice hockey game before, I mostly understood what was going on – I think! Luckily, this was a fairly high scoring game so there were lots of excuses to make some noise.
The snack bar at the arena had an awesome selection for food and drinks from popcorn to poutine (I’m coming around on this Canadian staple!). On tap they had the Fernie Brewery beers and some Palm Bay coolers.
After each period, we got to watch the famous Zamboni resurface the ice. I had heard of these machines before but never seen one in action, so that was a treat. The driver even had his own Ghostriders sweater with his name! I would say, with such an important job that he’s a pretty big deal around the rink.
Unfortunately for us Creston won this one 8-2, but not to worry. We will get them back…. I’m happy to say I will now be a regular in the Ice Hockey scene – such fun! It won’t be hard with the hotel so close to the Fernie hockey rink! Our next home game is October 1st against Castlegar – good luck to the team, and we’ll see you there!
One of the fondest childhood memories most people who grew up in Canada have is grabbing all your neighbourhood friends, setting up some nets on the pavement outside your house and playing street hockey until the street lights came on. If someone spots a vehicle that might disrupt the group, it is their duty to yell “CAAARRR” as loud as possible to inform the players, prompting everyone to haul their designated gear to the side until it is safe to play again. It’s also regulatory rules that the if the ball is hit into a yard, house, or window, the culprit is required to retrieve it themselves. The game usually ends around dinner time when the player count has been thinned out by curfews or parents calling them in for food, and teams don’t have enough people to play.
Grab Your Stick
Street hockey – also known as road hockey or ball hockey – is a game enjoyed year round by people of all ages. Whether it be hockey players wanting to keep their skills fresh or groups of friends wanting some good, competitive fun, the game allows people to enjoy the beloved sport and not be limited to indoor arenas or frozen ponds. No one is certain when exactly the game was ‘invented’, but it is believed to have started around the turn of the 20th century when wealthier North-American neighbourhoods started paving their streets. The sport picked up speed in the 70’s when the ‘No Bounce Ball’ was invented by Raymond W LeClerc. Rules and regulations started being established and it became more and more popular. Mr. LeClerc even went on to build a site with 3 outdoor arenas in Leo-minster, Massachusetts which prompted the development of leagues and tournaments across North America.
Fun For Everyone
Here at the Red Tree Lodge, we love street hockey and of course sharing it with our guests! Our sister company – Nonstop Adventure – is run out of the lodge, and brings people from around the world to enjoy the winter season in Canada while becoming ski and snowboard instructors. We love giving the full Canadian experience to our guests, so introducing them to activities that we grew up with is something everyone enjoys. Street hockey is always quick to become a favourite activity and they are even able to set up right in front of the lodge! Next time you stay with us in Fernie at the Red Tree Lodge, be sure to come borrow some of our equipment; we can provide you with sticks, nets and balls. Who knows, maybe we will even join in with you…Game on!