By Mike Max

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It has been a long time since Diane Ness has taught skating.

Since the COVID-19 outbreak struck the “State of Hockey,” it’s been a long time since a hockey arena has been open. And that matters if you want to become a better hockey player.

READ MORE: Crash Closes Highway 14 In Both Directions Near Owatonna

“You can do as many things as you can do in the garage. You can shoot pucks, you can do stick handling. But if you want to skate, you have to get on ice,” Ness said.

For Ness, it goes beyond hockey, but stays on the ice. Her granddaughter skated for “Disney on Ice.” The night before she was going to perform in Minnesota, everything was cancelled.

READ MORE: Pandemic Leaves Hockey Players’ Workout Routines On Ice

“March 13 it was cancelled, and I had 122 people coming on March 14 on that Saturday to come watch,” she said.

If the NHL season is necessitated, she doesn’t believe there would be much fall-off — not at the highest level.

READ MORE: 1 Of 5 Men Injured In Minneapolis Shooting Dies

“They’re so up to par all the time. They’re still stick handling, they’re still shooting, they’re fine,” she said. “And even cardio-wise, they’re biking and so forth.”

But there is another clock ticking, for the high school type that needs an off-season to have a shot at making an impact next season.

READ MORE: NHL Analyst Brian Lawton Says League Still Yearning For ‘Champion’ To Be Crowned

“Those kids that are on the bubble, they need to really work hard at, you know, the weakness that they have and so forth, but big if,” she said.

Whenever she can return, and her students can return, there will be celebration, because they’ve learned that they miss the ice.

MORE NEWS: Colin Powell Dies Of COVID Complications At 84 (CBS News)

“I just want to get out and skate and glide, and just glide!” Ness said.

Mike Max