Buffalo Pound Lake, Sask., resident builds backyard 'rink of dreams' for the community
Dakota Kuntz wanted a hockey rink in his community of Buffalo Pound, located north of Moose Jaw, so he built one himself.
Kuntz calls the outdoor ice sheet the "Rink of Dreams."
He built boards using a wall of snow around the ice to give it the feel of a real hockey rink.
The area also has a fire pit to warm up, a mini stick rink, a GT track that leads to the ice, an ice shack to warm up in and even a fishing spot.
It also has a Zamboni made from a rain barrel behind a golf cart.
Kuntz's 11-year-old son Trip loves having a rink in his backyard for him and his teammates to use. Trip attends the St. Margaret's School in Moose Jaw and is a goalie for the AA Moose Jaw Warriors.
"We just wanted to make it closer to home," Dakota said. "So we decided to have a rink on the lake because it's just so close."
WATCH| Take a tour of the elaborate outdoor rink:
Trip spends as much time as he can out on the ice — as much as six hours on a weekend.
Trip said having this rink right in his backyard has helped build his skills as a goalie. He has a dream of his favourite player, Marc-Andre Fleury, coming to play on their outdoor rink one day.
Trip said he loves the teamwork aspect of hockey, as well as the pressure that comes with playing.
"It's all about communicating," Trip said. "One thing I like about it is the nerve. Like you're stressed out and it's really fun and cool."
Not only has this been a opportunity for Trip and his father to create something for the whole community, it has also been a reason for them to spend time together. Hockey is a passion they share.
Even Dakota's dad Paul, who lives with them, helps clean the ice and prepare it for when skaters come out.
Dakota's mother liked to brag about the rink. Sadly, she died recently from a fall, but she was always a big fan of their journey.
Trip puts his grandmother's initials on his hockey stick, as she was always cheering him on.
"My mom loved this rink. She always shared our social media posts. She was bragging about us all the time. It made her so happy that that we could do this," Dakota said.
The Kuntzs hope a full rink will soon be built for the community and want it to be named after Dakota's mom.
Until then, they have many plans for their backyard rink, and their 27,000 followers on TikTok will be waiting to see what they add next.