He’s 14 now, measuring 6 feet,
1 inch tall and weighing
190 pounds. There is no one at
CHRISTIAN DAY’S level locally, so
the Laney High School student signed
on as a Junior Charlotte Checker this
year and practices with the UNCW
Club Ice Hockey team during the
HE sound of wood cracking against metal, the pop
of the puck as it spins toward the goalie who is
crouched and ready to defend the net from a well-placed
shot. Girls and boys, women and men glid-ing
confidently across the ice, their skate blades dig-ging
into the surface and spraying the frosty air with
icy particles. The muffled thumps of heavily padded bodies bouncing
off the boards while whistle-blowing referees start and stop play.
Wilmington ice hockey attracts hundreds of players of all ages
onto the ice year-round. At the basic entry level, the play is purely for
the fun of it. As skill levels advance, team players travel to compete
WHAT DO THESE PLAYERS
HAVE IN COMMON?
They all share one sheet of ice
at the Wilmington Ice House on
North Market Street.
with other travel teams from Raleigh, Greensboro or Winston-Salem;
even Charleston, South Carolina or Roanoke, Virginia.
With recreational house teams, the traveling Wilmington
Icehawks, and the UNCW Club Ice Hockey team all sharing one
sheet of ice, the Ice House online calendar of events reads like a
crossword puzzle, with open-to-the-public skate hours arranged
side-by-side with league and team practices and games. But for
families looking for a wholesome pastime to relieve cabin fever this
winter, the calendar offers ample opportunities to bundle up and
watch rinkside or with hands wrapped around a cup of warm cocoa
from a cozy glass-enclosed lounge.