Backyard rink maker earns star status

Toronto's Ward Day has been named Our Game's star of the week for sharing pictures of his backyard rink and blogging about how to get the best results.

Toronto's Ward Day is Our Game's star of the week

Take one look at Ward Day's backyard hockey rink and you know this guy's a veteran.

Painted lines, a smooth surface that doesn't scream 'homemade,' and even a Toronto Maple Leafs emblem at centre ice – this rink has it all.

"I started making backyard rinks about 8 or 10 years ago, as long as I've owned my house. Each year they're getting a little more extravagant," said Day, who lives in Toronto.

Our Game came across the rink after the father of two hockey-playing boys – Adam, 14, and McKenzie, 8 – posted pictures and a blog of rink-making tips to his community profile.

For his efforts, Day has been named Our Game's second star of the week.

Each week the grassroots hockey site will choose a star – a member of the community who has made a major contribution to the site by adding pictures, posting blogs, starting groups and more. This person will be featured on Hockey Night in Canada and will also be eligible to win tickets to the Stanley Cup Finals.

Day was chosen for his activity in the Backyard Rink Makers Group, where his blog offers tips to other rink-making enthusiasts, and even includes a picture of his homemade zamboni.

"I work in heating and air conditioning, so I have access to plastic piping," he explains. "I just put my mind at work and made one with a little adapter on the end where the hose can hook on. Then I added a towel to the back, so it just drags along.

"This gives you an even sheet of ice going on each time, and you get better results."

Day's rink is a hot spot for kids in his west end Toronto neighbourhood, and it's rare you won't find his youngest, McKenzie, out there working on his game.

"Last Saturday he had a morning game, he got off the ice at 8 a.m., and he continued to skate on the backyard rink until 12 noon. Then he had a 1 p.m. game," Day said. "That's devotion. I just wish I had the passion that he has for the game – it's amazing."

To join Our Game and connect with hockey fans across the country, go to Click "community" to create your profile and get in the game.