Shoshone Park (off Hertel) has a brand spanking new street hockey rink. This is exciting news for street hockey enthusiasts who have been relegated to crack-ridden parking lots and streets for years. This fresh surface is a sight for sore eyes, for anyone who is into Rollerblade hockey or street sneaker hockey. According to local street hockey enthusiast Bill Siegler, there are no signs denoting the type of hockey that is to be played on the surface, which he believes is asphalt painted blue.
Siegler also noted that the nets are “real ice hockey nets, chained to the ground.” I spent some quality time playing roller blade hockey with Siegler back in the day. We were constantly getting booted from parking lots all over the city. It was rare that we ever completed a game – someone would always come up and shoo us away. Siegler said,
Just seeing this hockey rink at Shoshone Park immediately reminded me how important street hockey was to me and my friends. There wasn’t anything that could get us out of the house and away from the television faster than the prospect of a street hockey game with the neighborhood kids! To have a resource such as this only a short distance from our house would have been a dream come true for many of us. For a hockey town such as Buffalo, I think having a safe and dedicated space for this activity will be of great benefit to our youth.
As a child growing up in the Elmwood Village, I remember being in constant search of an appropriate place to play street hockey other than in the middle of traffic. While our side street sufficed for a while, our growth in both stature and skill made the risk for property damage too high. Nobody wanted to risk getting into trouble for simply having a fun game of street hockey. Also, far too much time was spent on the unpleasant task of chasing balls down the street and under parked cars. There were some nearby parking lots, however, transporting hockey nets was nearly an impossible task for kids on bikes.
Finally there is a legit place to play street hockey. It won’t be long before word is out on this one. Hopefully, if this rink gets busy enough, it will warrant additional rinks to be built in Buffalo. These types of amenities are so important, yet they are mostly overlooked. Kudos to whoever thought that Shoshone Park would be a good fit for a street hockey surface.
Photo: Bill Siegler