Dad transforms basement into a mini hockey rink for his family

An ice hockey-loving dad decided to go all out on a DIY project for his children.

Dennis Minner spent two months in 2016 transforming his empty basement into a mini rink – so his daughters could learn how to skate.

The 49-year-old dad left no details spared either – completing the space with memorabilia, an air hockey table, plenty of seating and markings reminiscent of a real-life rink.

Dennis, a healthcare sales worker and photographer, took inspiration from the Enterprise Centre in Missouri‎ – where his family’s favourite team, the St Louis Blues, play.

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Since the rink’s completion a few years ago, Dennis and his wife, Lindy, have spent lots of time with their two daughters (eight-year-old Kinley and 14-year-old Bella) roller skating, playing hockey and watching their team play live.

Dennis said: ‘When looking at the basement, I could envision the shape of an ice hockey rink in my mind.

‘I told my Lindy about it, and she rolled her eyes and laughed it off at first. She was pretty startled when I actually started to get to work on my idea.

‘My neighbour helped a lot with the labour and building of the rink in exchange for me shooting his daughter’s wedding.

‘It started out as something we could all enjoy as a family while watching hockey with friends.

‘But it morphed into our family room where we watch movies, play games, and just enjoy each other’s company.’

Now dubbed the ‘Minner Arena’, the basement rink has become known within the local community and has an ever-growing following on social media.

So much so, the family has even welcomed popular ice hockey players and mascots into their home.

Dennis adds: ‘We’ve even had Louie, the Blues mascot, come and play with my daughters and their friends a few times.

‘My favourite memories are definitely from when we’ve had Blues players come and hang, we’ve had about seven of them so far including my favourite player, Tony Twist.’

The creative 49-year-old dad is even sent memorabilia to add to his Enterprise Centre shrine and uses his rink’s popularity for charitable causes, too.

He adds: ‘We have games using helmets, socks, skates, gloves, hundreds of signed photos and pucks, actual glass from around the rink from a few years ago, jerseys and more.

‘We’ve actually managed to raise thousands of dollars for charity since building the Minner Arena too, by hosting events with Blues alumni.’

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