Video

Cross-border shopping for ice time

An Ottawa minor hockey team is travelling across the border to get a bargain on cheap, premium ice time following a shortage of rink space in the nation’s capital.

Ottawa minor hockey team gets practice rink in U.S. for less than half the cost at home

An Ottawa minor hockey team is travelling to the U.S. to get premium ice time for a fraction of the cost of what it would be at home. 2:21

An Ottawa minor hockey team is travelling across the border to get a bargain on cheap, premium ice time following a shortage of rink space in the nation’s capital.

On Saturday, the West End Wolverines Minor Atoms travelled to Ogdensburg, New York, about one hour south of Ottawa.

There, the 10-year-olds get two hours on the ice during peak time — 1 p.m. on a Saturday afternoon — for less than half the price of an Ottawa rink.

“I mean, we’re not going to do it every weekend, but I think we’re going to do it again,” said team coach Hugh Gorman.

“It’s a quick short drive. Thought we’d make a bit of a road trip of it for the boys,” said Gorman. “They think it’s kind of cool to come and play hockey in the States.”

Less than half the cost of home ice

The peak times for practice ice are early evenings during the week and afternoons on weekends. With less minor hockey in New York, ice is often available and at a fraction of the cost.

Ottawa's West End Wolverines Minor Atoms practice at this rink in Ogdensburg, New York because practice time is less than half the price of what it would be at home. (CBC)

Ice time typically costs $168/hour in the Ottawa area compared to $80/hour in Ogdensburg, New York.

“It is taking a day, it is a big chunk of time,” said parent Dan St. Cyr, who drove some members of the team down. But even with travel costs — gas and food — it is still the most cost-effective option.

"Going through customs was easy too. It was quite the breeze," said St. Cyr. "It's exciting for [the kids]. It's a road trip and they like it."

The team has already booked three more practices across the border.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.