A lot of work creating a backyard hockey rink paid off for an Isanti family and its Mite team when the rink was picked a winner in Fox Sports North contest.
The rink is located in the backyard of the Steve and Stephanie Lindell residence on the northeast side of Isanti. The smooth-boarded look complete with lights was the center of attraction when a FSN film crew came to shoot the story on Feb. 22, with former Gopher hockey coach Doug Woog on hand to help run a practice for the young hockey players.
“This is my third rink, but the first year of this rink. I had a smaller 10’x10’ rink when my boy was small. He outgrew that, so I went to a 24’x42’. He outgrew that last year, and so we decided to go with this one. It’s a half-scale of a NHL rink so it’s 100-feet long, 42 1/2-feet wide with 14-foot radiuses,” explained Lindell. “We started grading it in September and finished putting the boards up in the blizzard on Dec. 11. That was a blast!”
Lindell added that what helped put his rink over the top in the backyard contest was the mini-zamboni he made to help with ice surfacing. The rink was used for practices three nights a week by the Isanti Mites.
But the video shooting and the Woog practice were in jeopardy since the big thaw in mid-February played havoc with the ice in the Lindell rink. To make matters worse, Lindell just had knee surgery, so his mobility was severely hampered.
“That was the most amazing thing was how many people showed up to get this rink ready for the Wooger. On Friday night (Feb. 18), we were down to dirt on the rink. But we had every parent on our Mite team help out. Jim Zorn was here nearly non-stop when he wasn’t at work. And the Isanti Fire Department showed up with a tanker truck to get water back down for ice,” replayed Lindell. “I think all that community spirit really caught FSN’s eye.”