Growing up, Casey Johnson had friends in the Riverside neighborhood.
They'd go to school, then gather together at the rink.
"That was the thing," the UND senior forward said. "When you grow up in Grand Forks, you go there right after school until 8:30 when the lights shut off. It's a lot of fun."
On Wednesday, he went back there for more fun pickup games. This time, he with the No. 1-ranked college hockey team in the country.
UND, which has this weekend off, decided to take its morning skate to Riverside Park -- a weather-permitting program tradition that has been scratched the past two years because of extreme cold.
"It just brings back all the childhood memories," Johnson said. "Everyone skated outdoors, so it's kind of going back to the roots and bringing out the fun side of hockey instead of all the business. Especially with us having this week off, it's kind of nice to get away for a little bit."
The Fighting Hawks, who sit in first place in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference standings and are 21-3-3 overall, played a couple of four-on-four games.
They all picked out random jerseys to wear. Most of them wore their teammates' jerseys.
Who had the best jersey?
"Besides my East Side jersey?" said UND captain Colton Poolman, who grew up skating outdoors at Nash and Stauss Parks in East Grand Forks. "There were a couple of Penticton ones I liked. Jackson Keane wore Gavin Hain's orange Grand Rapids jersey. Casey Johnson had a good Minot Minotauros one."
After the skate, Keane, wearing that Rapids jersey, took a photo with Harrison Blaisdell, who was wearing Ethan Frisch's Moorhead High jersey.
"A first- and second-place pic," Keane said, referring to the 2017 Minnesota state championship game, where Hain had a hat trick to beat Frisch and Moorhead in the final.
UND coach Brad Berry gave goalie Peter Thome the day off after the junior played both games last weekend. Notably, when the Fighting Hawks won the 2016 NCAA national title, Cam Johnson also took off the outdoor skate.
Even though Thome wasn't out there, his jersey was in both nets.
Adam Scheel wore Thome's North American Hockey League Top Prospects Game jersey, while Harrison Feeney wore Thome's Waterloo BlackHawks sweater.
Berry also let Gabe Bast, Matt Kiersted and Hain have the day off as they are recovering from injuries.
"It was good to have a little day off, but not really," Poolman said. "You're still around the team, but not in such a serious setting. You're back to just playing hockey with your buddies and not caring about much. It was a good breather today."
For the younger players, it's the first time they've participated on this, thanks to cooperative weather. It was about 16 degrees and sunny when they hit the ice.
"It was the perfect day, pretty much," Keane said. "It wasn't freezing cold."
The list of everyone's jerseys
Andrew Peski: Dixon Bowen's Penticton Vees
Casey Johnson: his own Minot Minotauros
Colton Poolman: his own East Grand Forks Green Wave
Zach Yon: his own Roseau Rams
Harrison Blaisdell: Ethan Frisch's Moorhead Spuds
Dixon Bowen: Andrew Peski's Ottawa District Hockey Association
Westin Michaud: Jacob Bernard-Docker's Canadian World Juniors
Carson Albrecht: Josh Rieger's Estavan Bruins
Jasper Weatherby: Shane Pinto's USA World Juniors
Ethan Frisch: Harrison Blaisdell's Canada World Junior A Challenge
Grant Mismash: Collin Adams's Honeybanked
Jonny Tychonick: Paul LaDue's Ontario Reign
Collin Adams: Grant Mismash's Shattuck-St. Mary's
Mark Senden: Jonny Tychonick's Penticton Vees
Josh Rieger: Jordan Kawaguchi's Canada World Junior A Challenge
Jackson Keane: Gavin Hain's Grand Rapids
Shane Pinto: Mark Senden's Fargo Force
Jacob Bernard-Docker: Jasper Weatherby's Wenatchee Wild
Cole Smith: Sidney Crosby's Canada Olympic
Judd Caulfield: Westin Michaud's Corpus Christi IceRays
Jordan Kawaguchi: Matt Kiersted's USHL Top Prospects Game
Adam Scheel: Peter Thome's NAHL Top Prospects Game
Harrison Feeney: Peter Thome's Waterloo BlackHawks
Maintenance days: Gabe Bast, Matt Kiersted, Gavin Hain, Peter Thome