Posted at: 02/10/2014 9:03 PM
Updated at: 02/12/2014 11:09 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
Some familiar foes took the ice on Saturday in the 22nd annual Super Boot Hockey Tournament in Duluth.
Twenty teams from the United States and Canada hit the ice for the tournament, with a trophy and bragging rights up for grabs.
"It's the biggest tournament of the year that we play in," said John Heino, Thunder Bay native. "We play one tournament at home and then we come here for this and this is the big one."
Heino guards the goal for the Barn Boys team. He says boot hockey requires a different level of athleticism, especially for the netminder.
"It's different as a goalie. You have to play a little deeper in the net," Heino said. You don't have the lateral movement that you do on skates, so it's a lot more strain on the legs than it is on ice playing on skates."
Teammate Tyler Wade says the playing surface also factors in more when you don't have blades to dig in with.
"It all depends on the weather and how the ice is," Wade said. "It can be really terrible if you get a little bit of snow on there it could be really slippery. The cold, we're from up north here so it doesn't really bother us."
The Barn Boys took home the Super Boot trophy for the second year in a row. A big deal for the Canadians, who hail from the country where hockey of all kinds is king.
"Hockey is the number one sport out there," Wade said. "Doesn't matter if it's the world juniors or the Olympics, any sport out there we're always cheering for our home team."
"Could be street hockey, same thing," Heino said. "Everybody wants to win at the end of the day."