New Year's Resolutions – How not to get Arrested for Building a Hockey Rink



In the last week of December of 2011 a few best friends outside Chicago decided they would make a hockey rink in their backyard. After four hours of trying to flood it with a garden hose they realized they would need a lot more water than they thought so they chose to illegally borrow the water from the local school fire hydrant.


Their parents, not knowing where they were getting the water from, gave them $350 to build the backyard rink. Not in their parents' budget was the 250 feet of fire hose they borrowed from a relative who worked for the local fire department so they could access the hydrant.


The boys had framed the rink with lumber and according to the Chicago Tribune they even fabricated a penalty box, not realizing that they might be in it a few days later. The custodian at Tinley Park High School discovered the fire hose was connected to a running fire hydrant on school property and called the police. Officers using ‘expert’ detective skills simply followed the hose through a wooded area and found the 91' by 43' partially frozen backyard ice rink.




Two of the boys. Tony Nelin and Timmy Ryan, age 20 were given citations for tampering with the fire hydrant and will have to pay for the water. They are being charged 130 dollars for the 26,000 gallons they illegally used to flood the rink. Nelian and Ryan will be able to keep the rink as it was built on private property and therefore it did not need a special building permit.


If you were a male Canadian child in the 50’s and 60’s the finest words you heard once a week during school was when one of the teachers would come into the classroom and yell,

“Okay boys- coats on, time to flood the rink!”

Trouble is the backyard rinks are now going the way of the dinosaur as kids are glued to electronics and shopping malls.


Of course the boys did wrong but too much of a big deal was made out of this whole thing. The janitor at $10 an hour called the police and waited for two hours for them to show up. The police then, using expert detective skills that a monkey might have easily done for free followed the hose to a 91 by 43 partially frozen backyard and probably stood around talking for 50 bucks an hour.


Later they pieced the story together, found the boys and yelled at them at the cost of another 200 dollars of labour. The kids then received the same fine as a corner drug dealer and of course the possibility of a building permit probably popped up in the conversation.


Nelin and Ryan were not sitting in a public park dealing drugs, and made an effort to do something for the neighbourhood. If the garden hose was not long enough maybe they should have used two garden hoses from different faucets, had more patience, or asked permission. Next time someone steals a pack of gum, maybe we should send in the Swat Team at a cost of 6.4 million dollars to stalk and locate the offending 4 year old. What a world we live in! To quote a Canadian friend of mine:


"Sometimes rationalized thinking is just Puck’in awful!"

Linda Seccaspina 2012

Dedicated to Mr. Bradford of Cowansville High School who made boys in my classe happy when rink flooding season came in season.

Group Photo: Chicago Tribune

Rink: Just someone's rink in Laval, Quebec

Cowansville, Quebec Hockey Team 1898 McCord Museum



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Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 10, 2012 at 11:41am

I am about to expand that kevin hahaha

Comment by Kevin Army on January 10, 2012 at 11:31am

I thought all backyards came with a hockey rink up there! show's what i know...

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 9, 2012 at 5:00pm

Werne.. you are so clever hahaha

Comment by Werner on January 9, 2012 at 4:52pm

What they did wrong was not to challenge the cops for a game, might have gotten off then.

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 9, 2012 at 2:12pm

man those english newspapers love their sun girl shots dont they hahaha.. Even if they have not had any sun..:)

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 9, 2012 at 12:36pm

There are makeovers for royalty?:)

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 9, 2012 at 10:27am

Yes Steve it was

Matt" HOW did you find him? hahahah

Comment by Matt Paust on January 9, 2012 at 10:20am

Great story, Linda.  Idiot school janitor, idiot cops.  Too many idiots.  Is this one, too?

Comment by Steve Yaver on January 9, 2012 at 10:18am

Good for the kids and their perseverance.

Comment by Linda Seccaspina on January 9, 2012 at 10:15am

Kenny.. I never thought of that..:)

Lisa; Yup.. who makes a hockey rink now?


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