Hockey Lovers Unite In The Twin Cities For The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
"We hope the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
will provide the community with a weekend to pay tribute to a true Minnesota
tradition, while bringing nationwide attention to the purity that still
exists in sport."
Winter is a great time for exciting outdoor sports. For 128 teams of everyday hockey lovers it was a exciting chance to gather and play hockey the way nature intended: outside and in the elements. The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships takes place in mid- January in Minneapolis on the Twin Cities' Lake Calhoun, a beautiful urban lake in the shadows of the Minneapolis skyline. The thrilling 3 day competition for men and women in 128-team, four-on-four challenge is unlike any other competition and is certain to be a highlight of winter for years to come in the Twin Cities.
"The Pond is where we grew up, learned to play and made friends. The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships is an inspirational tribute to this legacy and the authentic spirit of a game so many of us enjoy," said Mike Eruzione, captain of the 1980 USA Olympic Hockey Team. As the action heats up on the ice and teams compete one thing is certain; the community wins from the percentage of proceeds which will benefit the Herb Brooks Foundation and DinoMights Inner City Youth Hockey. The tournament features 25 rinks on the west side of Lake Calhoun and a field of 128 teams competing in open, women's, and senior men's divisions. There will be 104 open teams, 8 women's teams, and 16 senior men's teams competing in the tournament. The ice site will feature 24 150-by-75 foot hockey rinks "Calhoun Gardens," a 25th and central rink will be surrounded by bleachers and lights for night-time exhibition and notable games.
Spectators gathered to catch six-player teams go head to head on four-on-four games split into two 17.5-minute halves with a two-minute intermissions. Rinks are cleared in true pond fashion - shoveled off prior to games by the two teams on deck. Saturday featured round-robin tournament play, with each team guaranteed three games. Teams were whittled down to the top contenders on Sunday when "The Golden Shovel" was award. The Golden Shovel is to the USPHC what the Stanley Cup is to the NHL, and will be awarded to tournament winners each year. They will be inscribed on the shovel as U.S. Pond Hockey Championship champions.
"We hope the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships will provide the community with a weekend to pay tribute to a true Minnesota tradition, while bringing nationwide attention to the purity that still exists in sport." This is certain to become one of the most anticipated events of the winter for hockey fans.
By Leroy Worley
For current news, videos, and to learn more about the thrilling U.S. Pond Hockey Championships visit http://www.uspondhockey.com!