Picture this: a brisk Minnesota winter night at the neighborhood park. A few flurries are drifting through the sky, illuminated by the lights reflecting off of four sheets of smooth ice. Through your earmuffs you hear the distinct sounds of sharp blades on hard ice, frozen pucks against snow-backed boards, the coach's whistle and the rumble of a nearby train.
A memory from your childhood? Maybe, but also a scene on most winter nights at St. Paul's Langford Park, home of the Langford Park Hockey program.
Sure, we use indoor ice for games and early season practices. But outdoor ice is what we are about, and as soon as it comes in, team practices for Mini-Mites through Bantams are held under the lights at Langford Park.
In addition to the normal parent volunteering activities that go hand-in-hand with youth hockey, over 700+ man-hours (read mom-and-dad hours) are spent each season maintaining the outdoor ice that is the essence of the Langford Park hockey program.
Our Squirt Winter Classic tournament and Mini-Mite scramble, held each January, have been an outdoor tradition for 50-plus years.
Monday through Sunday, you'll find kids and adults dressing in the warming house for an evening of practice, recreational skating or good, old-fashioned pick-up pond hockey. These kids fly outdoors under the lights, often with shovels in hand to clear the new fallen snow. Parents skate alongside on the general rink, waiting to wipe noses or warm toes.
We take all skaters, regardless of ability, and make them active participants in our program. We excite them about the outdoors in the dead of winter, help them develop their hockey skills, teach them to respect each other and work as a team. We help develop a love for the sport that will stay with them long after the “youth” has been dropped from the hockey they play.
Langford Park is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Our hockey program operates out of the Langford Park Rec Center at 30 Langford Park and serves families in St. Anthony Park and surrounding neighborhoods. We sponsor teams for kids ages 4 to 14.
Come on down to the Park and skate on some of the finest outdoor ice in St. Paul!