Did you know that Ice Hockey started in Canada? Once upon a fleeting time, a hockey team, called the Quebec Nordiques, was founded in 1972. The team was relocated to Denver, Colorado in 1995 and renamed The Colorado Avalanche. The sport of ice hockey is governed by the National Hockey League which sets the rules of the game.
Fun Fact: The first ice skates were made from leg bones of horse, ox, or deer, and were attached with leather straps to feet, requiring a pole with a sharp metal end to push the skater forward. Sharpening modern bladed ice hockey skates plays a key factor in a player’s ability to skate, and players will sharpen their skates frequently. Skates used in competitive ice hockey rarely use molded plastic for the upper boot, as this results in limited mobility.
During the winter season, there are several locations that offer outdoor ice-skating, including Colorado state parks that have natural ponds and scenic views. Some include Yampa River, Golden Gate Canyon, Highline lake, Jackson Lake, and Eleven Mile. There are even outdoor ice-skating options open to the public in the middle of downtown Denver at the Southwest Rink at Skyline. The YMCA of the Rockies also offers beautiful scenic skating just outside of Estes Park.
The Colorado Avalanche have five team members during the game, plus a goalie, who are working together to score more goals than their opposing team. Goals can only be scored using a hockey stick to move the puck into the net. Players are usually only on the ice for one minute at a time and rotate out for the next player. The game lasts for 60 minutes, divided into three 20 minute periods, yet the game usually takes 2.5 hours with breaks and time clock stoppages!
The Colorado Avalanche have won two Stanley cups, the highest honor in hockey, with the help of the now retired goalie, Patrick Roy, who was inducted into the NHL Hall of fame in 2004. Five team members who have played for The Colorado Avalanche have been inducted into the NHL Hall of fame including Joe Sakic, who was the team captain.
In 1995 Joe Sakic, who is now The Colorado Avalanche General Manager, won the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the most valuable player on the Team. The Team followed the next year winning the Pacific Division again and was awarded the President’s Trophy for finishing the season with the best record and scoring average in the NHL.
The Colorado Avalanche’s home arena is the Pepsi Center, which is shared with The Denver Nuggets. The Broadmoor World Arena Ice Hall in Colorado Springs is a US Olympic and Paralympic Training site. The Broadmoor World Arena and The World Arena Ice hall are two facilities that have three sheets of ice that include two Olympic-sized and one NHL-sized, making it the perfect location for hockey skating functions. Learn more about hockey and The Colorado Avalanche on Wikipedia!