New Venue Prepares For Pond Hockey Tournament
The 10th annual National Pond Hockey Championships are set to take place this weekend, with one major change: they won’t be on a pond. Poor ice conditions on Dollar Lake forced the championships to move to the Snowmobile Derby track.
Just three weeks after the World Championship Snowmobile Derby, the track will again be filled with competitors and spectators from around the country.
321 teams from 26 states are set to compete at the National Pond Hockey Championships.
The setting might not be as scenic, right near the highway, but moving the event saved it from being canceled.
The fire department has managed to fit 24 rinks in the derby oval and surrounding area. Scott Aldrich--the manager of adult hockey for USA Hockey--says ice conditions are excellent.
“Even though we’re not on Dollar Lake this year, we’re outside, and the weather is going to be very good. It’s been very good for making ice the last week or so.”
The pond hockey championships are a major tourist draw for the Eagle River area, with thousands expected.
The change in venue means that games can continue into the evening with the derby track’s lighting, and spectators at some of the rinks will have indoor seating to watch as hockey is played the old fashioned way.