In Minnesota, there is no offseason.
It’s the middle of July in the suburbs of the Twin Cities, and the air is soupy in anticipation of a quick afternoon thunderstorm. Passing through the doors of the sprawling Bloomington Ice Garden, the temperature quickly plummets from a thick 29°C to a relatively chilled 10°C. If there were shorts and t-shirts outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell from the scores of children in hockey uniforms and parents in jackets. It’s a Sunday in the state of hockey, and the summer youth leagues are in just as much effect as they would be if the temperature outside were reading in double digits on the other side of zero.
Going through the halls, you can see the banners of high school hockey teams and the signed jerseys of those that cut their blades on the BIG’s sheets of ice. This was the practice HQ for the legendary 1980 U.S. Men’s Olympic hockey team, which explains the chill of history as you enter the rink – as if the ghost of Herb Brooks was personally escorting you in.
As drills are being run by the kitted-out hockey stars of tomorrow, underneath walls marked with the rubber of what seems like a thousand pucks, the history of a different sport is being written. Myriam Trepanier is running ladder drill after ladder drill, moving with the agility of a figure skater and the strength of a hockey forward.
But like many of the other players that come here, the ultimate stage is not here. It’s in Marseille, Munich and Laajis. Her homes of Ottawa and St. Paul. The hills and crests of Ice Cross. Because, even though the track time is tight, in Crashed Ice, there is no offseason.
Forward by, Matt Pekarek
Photos by, Aaron Belford