It doesn’t really get any more Canadian than finding the perfect patch of ice, dropping down some hockey equipment, and bringing in ex-NHLers to play the ultimate game of shinny high up in the B.C. mountains.
Helicopter pilot Bradley Friesen prides himself on producing video that highlight B.C.’s landscapes. A few months ago, he filmed a figure skater performing a dance routine atop Widgeon Lake near Coquitlam. Before that, he filmed a makeshift pond hockey game in the Purcell Mountains.
“I want to produce good footage,” said Friesen. “I’m such a homer for B.C. I’ve been a helicopter pilot for a long time. I love showing people what’s back there and to be able to get some of the best guys in the world…and see them in this unique setting—that, for me, is what it’s all about.”
Friesen decided to organize another game of shinny at Golden Ears Provincial Park. He asked former Canuck Manny Malhotra to wrangle together some B.C.-based hockey players, like Geoff Courtnall and Jim Vandermeer, and have them meet at Pitt Lake. They then helicoptered into the mountains.
Vandermeer, who played more than 400 games in NHL arenas, said it was an opportunity that was too good to pass up.
“Manny Malhotra texted and he goes, ‘Hey, do you want to maybe play a game on this rink?’
“I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, just let me know whatever’s going on.’ He then sends me a video about 10 seconds later of Brad flying over a glacier and a lake up on top. I was like, ‘Definitely. I’m in for sure.'”
The video was shot just a few weeks ago and the video on YouTube has gone viral.
There’s something about this kind of Canadiana that people can relate to.
“Sometimes you hit a chord with people. Whether it’s just that that they grew up playing hockey outside or always wanted to to something like this. Just the excitement that people have for it is really cool.”
Vandermeer said the experience brought him back to his days playing pond hockey with his brothers in Alberta.
“Professional hockey has been great to me, but this was just pure being a kid again,” he said.
WATCH the full video below:
-With files from Barry Deley