ALPENA, Mich. – Winter break fun doesn’t have to end just because classes are back in session. All you’ll need are a pair of skates, a hockey stick and the heart to score a dream come true.
Team captain Andy Marceau goes for the shot. “Wooh! Hooh!” he yells after hitting the puck. That’s his first goal en route to a hat–trick.
“As a kid, my dad always built me an ice rink in my back yard,” says Marceau. Now he’s an adult reliving old memories. “These are all Alpena kids coming together to have fun, and that’s the memories I had with my friends, my high school buddies — and we skated for hours.
Marceau waits every fall season to collect all of the rainfall. Beneath the ice is a white liner to keep the water in place before mother nature freezes it. The rink is 47 feet wide and 86 feet long.
“I come here to play with my friends, goof around and make them look silly,” says 10-year-old Clark Weir.
When the players want to turn things up a notch, they’ll ditch the puck and swap in a tennis ball instead.
“It feels good because I get pushed to higher levels,” says Weir.
Marceau says building a backyard rink is a dying art and takes the right kind of passion to keep it up. “That was one of my goals. I had to have a place to build an ice rink” as big as the one his father built.