We are a family of five that live in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We live in a suburb just outside of Minneapolis that has a deep and strong hockey tradition and is one of the top hockey cities in the US by all measures (championships at the state and national level, size of youth hockey association, success at the high school level, placement into college and the pros, number of sheets of ice within city limits, etc.).
We have three children that are all at different stages of their hockey “careers.”
- 7 year old in first grade, has been skating since she was 4 years old and is entering her third year of organized hockey. Her favorite NHL team is the MN Wild and loves the University of Minnesota Women’s Golden Gophers hockey team. She says she wants to coach the Wild when she grows up.
- 3 year old that is not in school, she started experimenting with skating when she was 2 and was able to stand on her own and do some marching on our backyard rink. She starts her learn to skate/ learn to play hockey lessons this year and will be on the ice twice a week from October – December.
- 1 year old that is not on skates and will follow the path of her old sister and start experimenting on the backyard rink when she is 2 years old.
My wife doesn’t have a background playing hockey and is not a particularly strong skater, but she is as passionate about the game as anyone in the house. She loves hockey and the teams we root for. She is the critical piece to our hockey puzzle, she keeps us all excited, focused, and ready day-to-day. Like everyone in the house she is working on improving her skating on our backyard rink in the winter, but also jumps in and gives stick handling, shooting, and pass a go as well.
My background as a player and coach is most complex and the longest timeline:
- Started as a figure skater at about 5 years old
- Switched to hockey full-time at the mite level and played house league/ AA hockey through Pee Wees
- Played varsity high school hockey in 8th grade and started with travel AAA hockey
- Participated in the Hockey Night in Boston showcase between junior and senior years
- Played two years of Junior hockey, one during my senior year of high school and one year during a gap year before college
- Played two years of college hockey and stopped during my sophomore year, finally got burnt out and physically was breaking down a bit from old injuries
- In grad school was a volunteer assistant at my University for two years
- Started coaching in local hockey association two years ago when my daughter was in her first year of termites and was the head coach of her first two teams
As you can see our family is involved in the game and has a serious passion for the sport. Two other quick notes about us:
- Neither my wife or I are from Minnesota. She is from Hong Kong and I am from Pennsylvanian, so even with our or experience with the sport many times we are learning how things are done here (e.g. hockey pants are called breezers or the importance of the community hockey model)
- My experience being involved in the game for over 25 years as a player or coach provides me context and insights that parents new to the game may not have and this experience often shapes our decisions and actions we take
Well that is a bit about us and our experience with the great game of hockey. In my next post I am going to discuss what you should expect of the blog if you become a dedicated reader, as well as what we won’t cover.
-North Star Hockey Dad