It doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it’s game on.
Pond hockey is a winter staple for a lot of Canadians. But on Vancouver Island, it’s a rare treat.
This year’s snow globe of a white Christmas has plunged much of the island into a deep freeze.
Temperatures at sea level have hit -10C. Pipes have frozen, but so have local ponds, bringing families and friends outside for some good old Canadian shinny.
From the farm fields of the Comox Peninsula to the marshes of Cumberland’s old Chinatown, the air has been filled with the sound of clashing sticks, slashing skates, kids crying because their feet are frozen in leather skates.
From toddlers who can barely stand to Junior B players on Christmas break, it’s full-on Canadiana fun on the outdoor ice sheets.
But on the island, it doesn’t last. Pond hockey can be as fleeting as a sugar cube in a bowl of warm water.
Temperatures are set to rise above zero early in the New Year, with heavy rain to follow. And just like that, pond hockey will be nothing but a memory of Christmas 2021.