Steele County Blades center Connor Lee misses going to the beach during winter. Teammate and defenseman Sam Jabara said efforts at a backyard rink mostly led to a large puddle in his hometown. Each 17-year-old is getting used to a different level of winter weather while playing with junior hockey with the Blades.

Lee is from Sydney, Australia and says on a good winter day Down Under he could go for a swim in the ocean. He didn't seem too interested in the idea of jumping into a frozen lake when I chatted with him recently. His love of hockey has taken him to Canada and Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault, so this isn't his first time dealing with winter weather.

Jabara grew up in Overland Park, Kansas where his dad's attempt at a backyard rink didn't usually lead to much skating time. Jabara grew up as a baseball player, though many think of him as a basketball player due to his height of 6-foot-4, which makes him the tallest player on the Blades. He says his good friend got him interested in hockey, and that friend switched to baseball. Jabara enjoys the chance to play with skaters from around the world on the Blades.

Steele County has five remaining home games, including Saturday, February 9 vs the Minnesota Mullets at 3 pm at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna.