Home > Brooks Oprik, Erie Canal, Kenan Arena, Lockport, Patrick Kane, pon, pond hockey, Ryan Miller, Team USA > Western New York Hockey shines on Olympic Stage

Western New York Hockey shines on Olympic Stage

By Tim Wendel

The gold-medal game between Team Canada and Team USA left me feeling somewhat bitter and searching for the sweet.

My brothers and I grew up playing hockey at the old Kenan Arena in Lockport. We also practiced on the pond in back

Erie Canal hockey rink east of Lockport,

of our house and even on the Erie Canal.

As the oldest, my teams were the first to venture north of the border, where we got routinely thumped. I remember losing 10-1, 9-0 and 10-2 during a weekend series in Hespeler, Ontario. We were patting ourselves on the back because we scored a pair in the final game.

The teams my brother Chris played on made it closer. My youngest brother, Bryan, actually won the occasional game against the Canadians. So to have the U.S. win the World Junior championships earlier this winter and then come up only a goal short in overtime on the last day of the Vancouver shows how far we’ve come.

So, a tip of the hat to Buffalo’s own – forward Patrick Kane, defenseman Brooks Orpik, and goalie Ryan Miller. More importantly, a salute to all the kids still lacing them up in the Niagara Frontier and playing on the backyard ponds and public rinks from Orchard Park to Transit Road. They will put us over the top sooner than many think.

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