It was December of 2004, before Barn Burner Hockey was even a thought. I was helping run practice drills for my younger brother’s hockey team. A fresh faced 18 year old showing the young guns how to wheel. During a scrimmage I fell into the boards awkwardly and split my elbow open. Despite the bleeding, I continued on with the practice and had a game later that night with my own team.
At my game I got ready with my damp, germ ridden hockey equipment and played 3 periods of solid hockey. Back then, not unlike most hockey players today, I didn’t clean my gear. I didn’t deodorize it. I rarely even aired it out. And I sure as hell didn’t take any of it out at home to wash it... Mine and my brother’s gear only got washed when my mom simply couldn’t stand the smell of it any longer.
Little did I know, a couple of days after suffering the cut a doctor would be telling me that I was lucky to not be losing my arm. The cut became infected from staphylococcal bacteria and I had developed a near flesh eating disease in my forearm just below the cut itself. As time went on, the pain spread from my elbow area, to my entire arm. I remember sitting in my parents living room and my dad seeing me holding my arm in pain.
A few hours later I was in a hospital bed receiving intravenous all night, with a doctor telling me that if I had waited another day or two, I would have likely had to have had my arm amputated as the infection had gotten so bad. All due to the bacteria from my dirty hockey equipment entering my blood stream through the cut.
For the next few weeks a nurse came over to our house daily to administer a constant flow of medication through a machine that was attached to my waist. I missed a lot of hockey while it healed. It was a terrible, disappointing experience that could have easily been avoided.
Fast forward 16 years later, my brothers and I teamed up with a friend to create Barn Burner Hockey. Our goal is to offer a line of all-natural, chemical free hockey products that not only enhance your performance as a hockey player, but also foster a new mindset for players toward caring for their hockey gear.
Filthy Mitts, our equipment deodorizing spray contains highly effective essential oils and other safe ingredients that combine to provide anti-microbial capabilities. Filthy Mitts doesn’t just mask smells, it’s formulated with high grade, anti-bacterial ingredients like pure witch hazel and organic tea tree oil that KILL germs and KILL odour for good. When used regularly, this formula will maintain a fresh smell and help fight against the bad bacteria that build up from sweat and grime.
See below to learn more about Filthy Mitts, along with a quick checklist to help you maintain clean, bacteria free hockey gear.