New Brunswick

Dorchester-area dad builds NHL-sized backyard rink

Dorchester-area father Mike Colp has built an outdoor, NHL-sized rink complete with lines, boards, a change house and lights for his 15-year old daughter who loves the game of hockey.

Mike Colp says after buying a second-hand Zamboni he had no choice but to build a rink to go with it

A Dorchester-area father has taken his backyard rink to a whole new level.

Like many dads, Mike Colp wanted to build a skating rink so his daughter could shoot pucks at home.

He started out flooding the backyard, but after a few years moved the rink to his neighbour's pond in hopes of improving the skating surface.

Mike Colp talks about his impressive backyard hockey rink. 7:35

Colp says he thought he was satisfied, but everything changed when he got a call from a friend.

"As we started using the pond my friend called and said there's a Zamboni for sale on-line. Who has not wanted to drive on a Zamboni?"

Colp bought the second-hand, ice-grooming machine and then realized he couldn't get the Zamboni down to the pond.

"It's too steep a bank to get it down, so I thought, 'Oh, I should build a rink for it,' and the rink turned into a little bit more than I thought but if you get a Zamboni, you need a rink," he laughed.

Help from friends and neighbours

The outdoor rink on Colp's land just outside of Dorchester, took more than a year to build and is NHL-sized, complete with boards, painted lines, a big blue maple leaf and lights.

"We've go a nice little rink house for the kids to play in, some hot chocolate to warm up their hands, it's a great place to go and have fun."

Colp says many friends and neighbours helped to build the super-rink, including one friend who brought in two bulldozers so they could level the land.

I'm my daughter's hockey fan — that's what I am.- Mike Colp

"The first year we just had the ice surface, then my daughter was complaining that she was losing pucks in the snow, so I said well we'll put boards on it."

"We worked on it...pretty much until the snow flew. We were putting the lights up when it was minus 20. I got my daughter to help."
Mike Colp says his 15-year-old daughter, who plays for the Sackville Rangers hockey team, was the inspiration for his super-rink. (Submitted by Mike Colp)

Colp, who admits he isn't the biggest hockey fan, says the outdoor rink is being enjoyed by everyone in the area, especially his daughter.

"I'm my daughter's hockey fan — that's what I am," he said.

"She thinks it's great. Her friends are always over. I know where she is and her friends are  - they're out there skating on the ice and they're not playing video games and they're not texting on the phone - well actually they are texting on their phones," he joked.

Hockey rink not the only attraction

As if the NHL-sized rink wasn't enough of an attraction, Colp also has a TARDIS on his property, inspired by the time machine in the British science fiction show Doctor Who, which he and his son used to watch together.

Colp says the rink was built for his daughter, and the TARDIS for his son.
Mike Colp says he built the rink for his daughter, but a few years back he built a TARDIS for his son because they both love the British television show Doctor Who. The time machine replica served as the first changing room for the hockey rink. (Submitted by Mike Colp)

"I'm a contractor, a carpenter and I thought it would be kind of cool to have a TARDIS so one winter we weren't working very much so I went up to the shop, and him and I worked at it and built us a TARDIS — you know it's another one of those things I thought I needed."

The TARDIS served as a changing room for the first rink but has since been replaced by a bigger and better changing house, complete with a wood stove.


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