A hockey dad has embraced the bitter cold weather and made a dream come true for his three children -- Allison, 10, and twins Colin and Amelia, 7. Dennis Helkowski built a homemade hockey rink in his Sewell backyard just for fun and for the love of the game.
"I always have to go to a rink to play (hockey), but now I can just go outside," said Colin. "It is pretty fun but making it was really hard. I helped by holding the boards."
Fast forward a few decades, and maybe we will be cheering on Colin in a Winter Olympics.
The weather has cooperated for winter sport enthusiasts. NBC10 chief meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz says the wind chill is expected to only be in the single digits on Tuesday, a mere 7 degrees at 3 p.m. Then the wind chill declines to near zero overnight.
Due to the arctic cold, the DIY (do it yourself) rink project has been put to good use over the past two weeks. Helkowski and his three children used 2 by 6 foot boards to construct a perimeter and filled it up with 4 inches of water. The kids held the wood and screws as Helkowski drilled the frame. The full size of the rink is 12 by 24 feet. Hockey jerseys line the fence next to the rink giving the backyard an arena feeling.
The project was on Helkowski's to-do list for years, but this year was the first time he put the idea into action. He coaches a youth Flyers hockey team so it was a no-brainer. Neighbors and teammates have used the rink for fun and for the practical purpose of getting skating practice in.
"It's held up with the bitter cold weather we've had. This never happens," said Helkowski. "When we finally had the weather to do it I figured we'd try it."
The entire family loves hockey and is looking forward to cheering on the local Flyers players who are competing in the Sochi Olympics.
Since cold temperatures are forecast for the week, Helkowski expects the rink to last through the end of the week. Plans are already in place to make another rink next winter.