A pond hockey game brings back the simplicity of winter sport and what better place to enjoy one than the home of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice.”
For the 11th year, the CanAm Hockey Tournament has come to Lake Placid to celebrate the spirit of hockey under the backdrop of the Adirondack High Peaks. Currently 74 teams are waiting to take to the 20 ice rinks on Mirror Lake this weekend, January 28-31, 2016.
According to Tournament Director Eric Chapman this weekend’s pond hockey match-ups are only open to adults, but spectators have just as much fun watching the players hit the rinks.
“We set up the tournament to appeal to the nostalgia for the game,” says Chapman. “We want to capture the spirit of hockey in its purest and basic form. Year after year, a lot of the same players have come back. They’ve expressed the thrill of playing hockey as a kid, having the freedom to gather a group and play for hours on the pond. That is the same spirit that brings people back each year to Lake Placid.”
Chapman says that anyone can form a team of six (there are no goaltenders) and enjoy the competitive structure. Teams play two games Friday and Saturday with playoffs on Sunday. It’s an open format that is not broken down into skill levels, though awards are given out for the different age groups. “It’s just guys coming together to play hockey.”
“We have one team that consists of family members,” says Chapman. “We have people coming from Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ontario, Quebec and even Texas. Having the tournament in Lake Placid makes it attractive. People can walk out of their hotel and skate. There are other pond hockey tournaments, but here you don’t have to drive 30 minutes to get to the ice. Plus, Lake Placid is a special place for any hockey event.”
Chapman and his CanAm staff have the tournament teams play during daylight hours with the medal rounds on Sunday morning, leaving the nights free for the players to explore the area. He feels that the Lake Placid amenities and special location add to the uniqueness of the event. Enjoy!
Photo of CanAm Pond Hockey Tournaments used with the permission of Diane Chase, AdirondackFamilyTime.com
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