Monday, 17 October 2011

Great Reader Email

The man you see to the left? Not an NHL player, but he certainly is an up-and-comer. That's Brian Cici, and he emailed me today with an awesome video that he and friend Shaun Finn created. There are thousands upon thousands of videos out there on the internet of hockey-related material, but this one struck me as being entirely different because it really is about the spirit and passion of a hockey fan. Brian and Shaun have a tradition that they filmed and laid a soundtrack over that shows how deeply the love of the game burns in Canada, and especially in a Vancouver and a small piece of heaven known as Green Lake, BC. If you want to know why Canadians love the game of hockey, this video is a great reason why the coldest team game on Earth warms our hearts.

Here's Brian's email to me.

"I read up on your blog on occasion as I'm an avid hockey fan from Vancouver.

"I put this short film together with a friend of mine about a group of friends who build an outdoor hockey rink up north for a week every year. I thought you'd like to take a look at it.

"Thanks for your hard work on the blog. Always full of good juicy info."
Thanks for reading, Brian. I really appreciate you stopping by when you can and reading my mindless banter on the sport we love. Thank you for those kind words.

The video that Brian is referring to is embedded below, and I have to say that I was glued to my monitor. Maybe it's because this is how I remember my days of hockey as a kid, or maybe it just harkens back to days of a simpler time. Either way, this video is a great reminder of why it doesn't matter if you're an NHL superstar or a shinny player in the backyard, hockey is all about a frozen patch of ice. Just as a note, if the video is very choppy, turn the HD video off by clicking on the HD symbol in the lower-right corner.

Honestly, I get chills just from watching that because it really is a magical thing to see a lake turn into a hockey rink. From his Vimeo webpage, here's a quick description of what's happening in the video:
Every January a group of friends go from the city to 8 hours north, to Green Lake, BC, Canada. Their mission, to build a full size hockey rink from the frozen lake and make hockey happen.

It takes several trips up north to prep the ice for this week. A snowplow scrapes the surface, and when it's cold enough, the ice is flooded to smooth the surface. Even though the ice is softer and more susceptible to damage, the backdrop of a wide open space and crisp air is undeniably one of the best feelings in the world. I can't wait for next January.

Created by Brian Ceci and Shaun Finn
Brian, you and Shaun have created a masterpiece in this video. This is what old-time hockey was all about: boys out playing on a cleared surface of ice in Anywhere, Canada, living the dream that they're one move away from being the next NHL star.

If the technical aspects of the video are important to you, the musical pieces are Malmo by The Album Leaf and Wheat Kings by The Tragically Hip. The movie itself was filmed on a Canon 5D Mark II with a 70-200mm 2.8f II and 24-70mm 2.8f.

If you were watching closely, there were three different Vancouver Canucks jerseys seen - evidence that these Vancouver boys are big fans of their hometown team, and, in particular, the old Canucks skate logo. There's also a red and a white Team Canada jersey seen in the video. These guys are Canadian hockey fans through and through.

What makes this video great, though, is that a little hard work goes a long, long way. The guys don't need dressing rooms or an arena full of fans to go and have a little fun, play the game they love, and - for a brief moment in time - skate like they're the best player in the world. There's an innocence that comes to life in this video, and Brian and Shaun captured the spirit of the game and child-like playfulness of these men so well.

Well done, Brian and Shaun, and I cannot wait for your next video! Especially if it's all about Janaury's next rink adventure! Thanks for sharing this with me, and keep up the amazing work!

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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