Pond Hockey at Lake Louise, Alberta

I love ice hockey. I love watching the National Hockey League (NHL) and follow the Stanley Cup Playoffs religiously. I would put my hockey knowledge up against any Canadian. However, never in my life have I actually played hockey myself. Growing up in Trumbull, Connecticut I played every sport there was and played very well I might add. However, hockey just never entered the picture for me. It was always during basketball season and who wanted to get up at 4am to practice anyway?! But that all changed when I played pond hockey at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada a few weeks ago!
Saddledome, Calgary Flames, Flames, Calgary
I’ve been to every NHL arena for a game except for Detroit and Winnipeg. I fact I was at the Saddledome in Calgary for a Calgary Flames game a few days before I played pond hockey at Lake Louise! But I hadn’t even ice-skated since 1993 (Yes I remember the exact last time I ice skated at the Wonderland of Ice in Bridgeport, Connecticut)! So when the opportunity to play pond hockey at Lake Louise came up-I jumped at it!
Lee ABbamonte, pond hockey, Lake Louise
I met up with a really cool guy named Bill who is the manager at Wilson Mountain Sports in Lake Louise. I got my skates and stick from there and he took me up to Lake Louise.
Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, pond hockey, lake Louise
If you’ve never been to Lake Louise, it is truly one of nature’s greatest creations. It is so beautiful, winter or summer and you can’t help but stare. I had been twice prior to Lake Louise, both times in the summer including in 2013 when I did a massive tour of Alberta and Banff National Park, ending up in Calgary for Stampede! But this time it was cold, clear and perfect!
Lake Louise, ice castle, Banff, Alberta, Canada, pond hockey
I was a little nervous getting on skates for the first time in 22 years but I was pretty confident in myself that I wouldn’t fall or make a total fool out of myself. I’m a good athlete and am an avid rollerblader (insert joke here). That said, I’ve also played some street hockey around where I live in New York City so I know a little about handling a stick.
hockey, lake louise
I have to say I was pretty good. I didn’t fall and I didn’t embarrass myself. I was able to catch the puck with the stick, make passes, keep up, stop and even skate backwards. I was pretty pumped about all that and it made for a great afternoon in an amazing setting.

I have to give a special thanks to Bill, Wilson Mountain Sports and Travel Alberta for setting it up. Playing pond hockey on Lake Louise was a day I won’t soon forget!

Comments

  1. Now my husband would love to do this! Thanks for the birthday present idea-he’s a January baby so this will be perfect for next year!

  2. I love these photos!

  3. Great story! Thanks for sharing.. I will be heading to Banff this winter from Australia. I currently play hockey and would love to do this. Is it easy to organise a drop in game or 2, or do I need to join a team?

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