Sixty-four teams from across the province — and as far away as Australia — will be taking part in this year’s Alberta Pond Hockey Championship.
The annual event has been held for all but one year since 2007 on Lac Cardinal, west of Peace River, Alta.
David Allen, the president of the Alberta Pond Hockey Association, says there’s something special about skating on the frozen lake.
“Playing pond hockey like we used to when we were kids, out on dugouts and any frozen chunk of water we could find, we’d do that,” Allen says.
“Lots of guys who come out here give the same story. They tell us about their days playing out on ponds.”
The teams consist of four players with one substitute. They play four-on-four, with no goalies, and subs can come onto the ice once a goal is scored.
Each of the 12 rinks on Lac Cardinal are about three-quarters the size of a regulation ice surface, and the nets are just one-foot high.
“It’s a very unique, Canadian winter event,” Allen says.
Each team is guaranteed at least five games, with the championship to be decided on Sunday.
Allen says it’s not just the adults who will be on the ice.
“We bring out a bunch of junior teams, young guys and gals who come out,” Allen says.
“They play and play and play, and the parents, the grandparents, the families come out and have a good time.”
Watch below: (From Dec. 27, 2018) Thousands of people are celebrating the holidays at a hockey tournament like never before in the Calgary area. As Gil Tucker shows us, teams from all over western Canada are hitting the outdoor ice in Chestermere for the Western Canada Pond Hockey Championships.
Allen says a couple of hundred volunteers are helping out for the weekend event. They will do everything from maintaining the ice to serving beverages and food to providing assistance for a Saturday night gala.
The Alberta Pond Hockey Championship runs March 8-10.
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