Off-Ice Memories Overshadow The Wins And Losses

Hockey has a funny way of bringing you places you'd never expect, say for example, an Irish pub in downtown Chicago for Thanksgiving dinner. Kevin Duy's family missed out on a home cooked turkey feast, but he wouldn't have it any other way. 

"The off-ice memories that travel hockey allows of our family is what my wife and I treasure the most," says the St. Louis-based sports dad. The games played are never part of the conversation with their boys about past hockey trips.

Families may struggle to remember scores, but memories off the ice usually come quickly and with a smile.


Here are few favorite memories submitted by loyal readers: 

Getting to swim and hang at team dinners help players get to know each other. Their teamwork

seems to get better after that.

 - Shannon Nanne, Sagamore Hills, Ohio


It's the time parents spend together sharing stories, food and drinks while we know our kids are together too. It's an amazing feeling.

 - Julie Kreb, North Syracuse, N.Y.


True teammates support each other on and off the ice. They understand you in ways those outside of hockey never will. Hockey truly is a family.

 - Jen Berg, Neillsville, Wis.


While in Cleveland, we visited the house from the movie, A Christmas Story. It was a fun holiday moment for us in between games.

 - Anne Billings Miller, Cazenovia, N.Y.


In the years to come we won't remember the score line, but we will remember all the fun we had.

The memories will last a lifetime.

 - Chloe Tombs, Hockey mum in the UK


Nothing says team bonding like a road trip (some of ours are pretty long!) and we get to do a little sightseeing.

 - Linda Aitcheson, Belfast, Northern Ireland


My wife loved watching her boys play, they were all "her boys." When she passed away, our team and association, and competitive associations and teams turned out for her funeral. That support helped us get through a very tough time. True family.

 - Jay Pellegrino, Frederick, Md.


Being able to say "who remembers the weekend the power went out in Lake Placid?" and any parent who does, remembers pitching in all of their hotel room snacks to make peanut butter fluff crackers for dinner because there were no restaurants open.

 - Amy Moon, Syracuse, N.Y.


There's nothing like your hockey village. The friendships forged and team bonding make for the best memories.Taking over restaurants and ordering by jersey number, all while laughing and recapping the day's events.

 - Kelly McCarthy Clark, New Jersey


My son's last youth hockey tournament was in Lake Placid. They had the time of their lives running around the village for the weekend, but ended up losing in the quarterfinals. They were inconsolable. Parents traded calls when we arrived home.

"Still crying?"

"Yup - mine too"

Now, the boys tell stories about getting stuck waist deep in the snow, playing real pond hockey and losing a few hats to the pesky north wind. Ask them, hey how did you guys do in that Lake Placid tournament anyway?

They'll give a smile, "I have no idea."


Syracuse, N.Y., hockey mom Christie Casciano Burns is the author of My Kids Play Hockey.




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