Winter Sports Spectacular: Homegrown Hockey

Published 02/24 2014 05:56PM

Updated 02/24 2014 06:42PM

South Burlington, VT -- Winters in our area can get cold, real cold, but there's a silver lining. We get to enjoy outdoor sports that can only happen when the conditions are right, like pond hockey.

"Pond hockey is the roots of hockey." said Pond Hockey Classic organizer Lou Dimasi. "Hockey, unlike baseball or basketball you can't just go out on a field and play. You know, you've gotta be in a rink. When the conditions are perfect for a pond there's nothing better."

The Burlington native, Dimasi, helped bring one of the largest pond hockey events in the country to Vermont. 

"I think Pond Hockey is something that's special to everyone who grew up playing hockey because most people grew up playing on lakes and ponds." said Dimasi.

South Burlington native Tom Forgione started skating outside and worked his way on the roster at the University of Vermont. 

Tom's mother, Mary Ellen Forgione, might be the queen of all hockey moms. She converted their entire backyard into a hockey rink. Tom's UVM career so far proves that it was worth it.

"I played for CSB growing up, and we would have practice at like 5." said Tom Forgione. "I'd get home from school and I'd immediately come out here with a buddy and just shoot around and play, then go to practice and come back and play more."

The rink wasn't easy to build, it took a lot of effort, but they did it on their own.

"We put a hose in there. We turn it on and it takes a day to fill it." said Mary Ellen Forgione of her backyard rink. 
"We actually leave the boards up through the summer. But initially, when we did from the time they actually leveled it from the time they put up the boards, put in the stakes it probably took two days and four hockey players."

There's no need for a zamboni, mother nature cleans for them. 

"In the morning the sun comes up, melts the top layer, by the time they come home from school, it's refrozen and it looks like glass." explained Mary Ellen.

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