British Columbia

How Canadian is this? Pond hockey comes to Lower Mainland

The West Coast weather Lower Mainlanders love to brag about to their relatives in chillier parts of the country comes with a trade-off.

Hockey players take advantage of chilly weather and start an outdoor game in South Surrey

Three friends grabbed their sticks and started a pickup hockey game on the Serpentine River in south Surrey. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

The West Coast weather Lower Mainlanders love to brag about to their relatives in chillier parts of the country comes with a trade off.

South Coasters don't get to play much pond hockey, which may just be the most Canadian thing a person can possibly do.

That's why a half-dozen teenagers and young men wore smiles as big as the blades on their hockey sticks Wednesday as the temperature plummeted to -9 degrees.

Will Paarnup and his buddies trudged through knee-high snow, strapped on their skates and fired pucks on the frozen Serpentine River in South Surrey.

"I got here around 9:30 or 10:00 in the morning," Paarnup said as he watched breath form a cloud in front of his face.

"I just went for a bit of a skate. It was fun just to skate and just go for a long time without having to stop."

Paarnup's friend, Avin Gill, says this is the first time he's been able to play outdoor hockey in about three years.

"The views of the mountains and stuff like that is pretty phenomenal from here," he said.

"The ice is whatever, like it's not the greatest, but it doesn't really matter. It's just having fun being out here. It makes you feel Canadian, basically."

Old time hockey

Zach Stew was shivering in his Daniel Sedin jersey after his 40 minute scrimmage with friend Matt Mahjen.

"I'm kind of starting to freeze up," Stew said.

"It wasn't too bad when I was moving but now that I'm standing around, I'm starting to realize how cold it is."

Mahjen said he couldn't feel his feet by the end of the day but it was worth it.

"You can always go skate in a rink but skating outside — it's always fun being in the cold and having the open scenery," he said.

"It's kind of a nice change and obviously, being in B.C., you don't get to do that every day."