Edit ModuleShow Tags

Let’s Play Hockey…Outdoors Of Course


Published:

It’s good and cold. January cold. The ice is thick, hard, smooth. The skates are sharpened. For Minnesota sport enthusiasts that can only mean one thing: pond hockey.

This weekend, teams from across the country (and the world) will take the ice for competition in many hockey divisions in the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships on Lake Nokomis, “the way nature intended.” Growing up beyond Minnesota’s borders, I don’t have the same connection and memories that pond hockey has for many athletes, young and old, in and around the Twin Cities. Hockey is a part of their athletic DNA and it only seems natural that our area would host an amateur tournament for weekend players—yet the tournament doesn’t have a long history.

In 2005, Fred Haberman, co-founder of the marketing agency Haberman, came up with the idea when he thought fondly of his younger days playing hockey with his friends on a frozen creek near his home. If such a tournament existed, who would play? Who would come and watch? In 2006, the first event took place: 120 players from around the globe entered, drawing tens of thousands of spectators to watch players on more than 25 rinks shoveled atop the ice of Lake Nokomis. (Appropriately enough, the winning teams are engraved into a golden shovel.)

The tournament has only grown since its first year. As their website states, ESPN says "there's no better place for a sports fan to be, and no better time to be there." And Sports Illustrated has even called it “perfect.” Even if you aren’t participating, being on hand to view the amateurs compete in a game they love can only bring about warm feelings about your community. Warm being the operative word. The current tournament organizers share more about the event in this YouTube video:
 


P.S. If you want to learn more about pond hockey, a documentary was recently released on DVD featuring Wayne Gretzky and onetime Minnesota Wild star Marian Gaborik.

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships
January 18-20, 2013
Lake Nokomis
Schedule of Events

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Summer Camp For Food-Loving Adults: Chef Camp

Book a north-woods excursion that challenges your culinary creativity among fellow foodies and big-time local chefs

New Features at TC Pride All About Inclusivity and Keeping the Peace

Dancers holding off protesters, a space for those with autism, and more

OXBEAUX Gets Cozy Before Eaux Claires Festival

The OXBEAUX Block Party offered an intimate pre-festival experience for nearly 2,000 guests featuring music from The Shouting Matches, Field Report, and more
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent Minnesota Journeys Posts

Summer Camp For Food-Loving Adults: Chef Camp

Book a north-woods excursion that challenges your culinary creativity among fellow foodies and big-time local chefs

New Features at TC Pride All About Inclusivity and Keeping the Peace

Dancers holding off protesters, a space for those with autism, and more

OXBEAUX Gets Cozy Before Eaux Claires Festival

The OXBEAUX Block Party offered an intimate pre-festival experience for nearly 2,000 guests featuring music from The Shouting Matches, Field Report, and more

Award-Winning Author Channels Northwoods in New YA Book

Minnesota native Margi Preus explores familiar scenes and events in her new mystery novel for young adults

New Hotel Lands on Lake Minnetonka

Lakeside hospitality returns after more than 50 years with the arrival of Hotel Landing
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags