By Seth Rorabaugh / (posted 12.17.12)

For Sidney Crosby, a by-product of the NHL’s lockout is an inordinate amount of free time.

Construction of a new house in Sewickley has occupied a portion of that time as well as other activities, such as attending concerts at Consol Energy Center.

Dek hockey can be added to that list of time-fillers as well.

Stories surfaced on Twitter and Facebook late Friday and early Saturday that Crosby participated in a dek hockey game Friday at Dek Star, a rink in Ohio Township next to Interstate 279. Photos on Twitter showed Crosby dressed in goaltender gear. After an informal practice Monday at Southpointe, Crosby confirmed he moonlighted between the pipes.

“My buddy plays in the league there. I talked to him about playing,” Crosby said. “I played a lot of goalie in street hockey growing up and stuff. Just asked if he needed a goalie. He said sure and I came out. It was cool.”

Due to his equipment, the presence of hockey’s most recognizable figure was not known by those at the rink until late in the contest.

“I had all the [goaltending] gear on,” Crosby said. “I was talking to the ref once toward the end of the game and I think he recognized me.”

“My referee walked over just to kind of say, ‘Hey, you’re not the normal goalie. It’s about time they get a goalie.’ ” said Chris Evans, general manager of Dek Star. “Instead, he looked at him and he was like, ‘Holy [cow], that’s Sidney Crosby.’ ”

“The other team played against him for an hour and had no idea. They didn’t even know until I told them after he left.”

Crosby, limited to 22 games last season due to injuries, expressed no concern at the prospect of suffering any additional ailments.

“It’s a hockey ball and I have ice hockey gear on. I’m not too worried about it,” he said. “I guess there’s always a chance. I wouldn’t take that risk if I thought it was a big one.”

Crosby, who regularly plays goaltender in street hockey (or road hockey, as it’s called in Canada) games during the offseason, earned a 4-0 shutout Friday in his one and only game. Ever the team player, he credited his teammates with his success:

“I didn’t have one shot. My team was really good defensively.”

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