Edina, tape balls and pre-game meals

 

By Hans Eisenbeis

Dear Zamboni Guy: What’s the largest tape ball you’ve ever seen?
Payton Leathershoes, Dassel
 

Last year, I saw a second-year PeeWee with a tape ball as big as his head, and he had a pretty big head, too.

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Ask a Zamboni Guy: Chilling Halloween edition

 

By Hans Eisenbeis


Dear Zamboni Guy: How deep is the ice? What’s below the ice? 
Ann O’ Tate, Noteville, Minn.
 

That might seem like something of an existential question, but it’s not at all. Simple question, simple answer: The ice at my rink is about 1.25 inches thick. Below the ice there is very smooth concrete, and inside the concrete there are pipes that contain a very cold liquid – the blood of children caught stickhandling in the lobby.

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The Stand-up Goalie: What’s in a team name?

 

By Hans Eisenbeis

Years ago, I created a little tradition that’s a highlight of the year: The Squirt and I take a father-son trip somewhere north just before hockey season starts. The last time we made this trip, it was a chilly weekend of camping on the North Shore, where the father demonstrated how NOT to start a fire using two shots of whiskey, five wet logs and a half-gallon of stove fuel.

This year, we were planning to head up to Eveleth to the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame. Normally it’s like dragging donkeys into the barn trying to get kids to your average museum, but the Squirt has been bugging me about the Eveleth trip for a couple of seasons now.

As it turned out though, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame has somewhat limited hours, and we couldn’t make the schedule work until next summer. Instead, we made a trip to what I guess you could call the Hockey Hall of Infamy – the Ralph Englestad Arena in Grand Forks, home of ... well, the University of North Dakota’s unnamed hockey team. Of course, as soon as you’re north of St. Cloud, you begin to see signage and logos indicating that you’re heading into Fighting Sioux territory.

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The Stand-up Goalie: Life lessons from the crease

By Hans Eisenbeis

It’s a curious thing in life that someone always seems to be bigger, faster, better, smarter. It’s easy to believe that you’re something special when you forget the mirror is attached to the wall and the wall is attached to the rest of the world, and somewhere out there – probably closer than you think – there is someone with a harder slapshot or a better Mohawk turn or a faster glove hand.

With goaltenders, this is a complicated business, because so much of the game is played in the head. Confidence dictates that you know you can make that save, but the scoresheet often says otherwise.

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The Stand-up Goalie: Evolution of the Rink Rat

By Hans Eisenbeis

Is the rink rat an endangered species? I have to wonder.

Back in the day, roughly about the time when a Georgia peanut farmer was the leader of the free world, I used to get dropped off at the rink whenever it was convenient for my parents. That could mean three or four hours before practice – and hanging out for a few hours after practice, which is probably why I wasn’t home when the NHL called.

I never seemed to mind, though, because there was always a game to watch on the ice, or pucks to shag in the bleachers. Just when it might have gotten boring, there were other rink rats to pal around with, some of them budding young felons with clever ways to filch candy out of the machines with their skinny arms and tiny hands.

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