VANCOUVER, B.C. - Like camping and outhouses or flies on a dung heap, hockey gear and stink have long made a nose-plugging, knock-em-dead team.
The stench from sweaty hockey gear has forced many players and their families to hold their noses and accept the problem. But when two hockey dads got stuck in an SUV waiting for a Vancouver-area ferry with six young puck-shooting girls and their six foul-smelling hockey bags, they decided to mount a defence.
The result was Hockey Sudz.
After two years of trial and error, the advent of the frontload washer and plenty of research, Keith Howlett and his partner created the soap-based product that's antibacterial, biodegradable, hypo-allergenic and won't break down the glue that holds hockey gear together.
Dr. Paul Basson, team physician for the Western Hockey League's Chilliwack Bruins, says the build-up of sweat with heat and humidity leads to the growth of all sorts of bacteria and fungi and some of it can be dangerous, and even in rare cases causing flesh eating disease.
Only a handful of retailers in Western Canada carry Hockey Sudz, but the inventors are working to find a big-box store to carry the product.