Moose sighting: Hockey players pay visit to West St. Paul family's backyard rink
Ken Azaransky won the Manitoba Moose Backyard Rink Contest with his 24 by 12-metre rink
A handful of Manitoba Moose players laced up and took to the ice in West St. Paul Tuesday.
Members of the AHL team were in the municipality, just north of Winnipeg, to test out the Azaransky family's massive, award-winning backyard hockey rink.
Ken Azaransky built the 24-metre-long, 12-metre-wide rink out of recycled barn wood with the help of a friend who has experience in carpentry.
It took him about 100 hours to gather all the materials and then a further five or six to put the structure together, he said.
The effort earned him first place in the Manitoba Moose Backyard Rink Contest, looking for the province's best homemade rink, which ran from Dec. 11 to Jan. 5.
"I thought I had a chance because I liked the design of the rink and — trying to be humble with it — but there was a lot of effort put in," Azaransky said.
"And I feel that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, and that's what I did to make this rink."
The prize for the contest winner included Moose giveaway items, an autographed jersey and a visit from mascot Mick E. Moose and a few of the players themselves.
"When we built this rink, it was about bringing friends and teammates over to enjoy skates, and to have an event like this is really what it was all about," Azaransky said.
"Not necessarily winning this competition but having this type of event where you can have friends and neighbours over to enjoy a nice blustery night and make winter a little more tolerable."