A recent lunchtime conversation Ellie had with a coworker of hers turned towards hockey, as it often does in the middle of August in Western New York. She mentioned that I had recently started getting into playing and going to open skate and shoots at harbor center, the newest and most spectacular hockey venue in Buffalo. It turns out that her colleague also plays, and recommended Anytime Hockey.
Anytime Hockey is a website run by three local guys in Buffalo who want to play hockey. Makes a lot of sense. Hockey has a relatively large barrier to entry compared to most sports. The equipment cost a few hundred dollars minimum, and ice time is hard to come by. On top of that, you need to gather 15-20 people and two crazies who are willing to play goalie and have the even more expensive equipment. Anytime Hockey is essentially a match making system that organizes games for different levels of players, and provides a time and place.
Getting into a game with a referee and goalies (though admittedly only one goalie showed up for our game which was kind of disappointing) was a ton of fun. I enjoy the flexibility, only having to commit to a game a few days in advance of wanting to play. This eliminates the overhead of finding a team, a league, and a set schedule.
I highly recommend it, most of the guys there were pretty friendly and there were plenty of beginners too!