PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Hansen family spends a lot of time on the ice, whether at an indoor rink for hockey practice or at their Peoria home in the backyard.
This is the sixth year Nick Hansen has set up his at-home ice rink. He said they got a backyard rink kit from a company in Minnesota and decided to make it as big as he could.
“It takes a lot to store it. They’re like poly boards. We stack them underneath our deck all summer long, and they snap together in the winter. It’s a full-day project for us,” said Peoria resident Nick Hansen.
Opening the rink is one of the most anticipated days of the year for the Hansen family.
“The worst part is when we fill it, and we have to wait for it to freeze. I usually wait until we have three days of not getting above freezing, we drop a hose in it. It takes a full day to fill, and then for three days, they’re sitting there staring at it. ‘Can we go on it?’” said Hansen.
If having their own personal ice rink was not impressive enough, their homemade hockey rink has even caught the eye of a professional hockey team.
“Last year we won a competition. The Minnesota Wild, their motto is ‘This Is Our Ice,’ and they do a lot of stuff with backyard rinks, and we won something there. Before the game, we took some of our water, poured it on their ice, and they had this huge thing about us during one of the intermissions. It was really cool,” said Hansen.
All four of the Hansen children skate, with three of them being hockey players.