Take it Outside

By Jessi Pierce


Labatt Blue U.S. Pond Hockey Championships showcase Minnesota’s sport

What is it about hockey that is so infectious here in Minnesota? Novice players and veteran fans celebrate the game with the same enthusiasm every blustery and flurry-filled winter. For the past 11 years that enthusiasm has been heightened in January when the Labatt Blue U.S. Pond Hockey Championships bring the game back to its roots out on a frozen Lake Nokomis. Players who ended their careers at different levels – from high school, up to Division I and even the NHL – and those who continue to play in an “old man’s league” come together, all vying for a chance to have their name etched on the Golden Shovel as fans of the game cheer them on.

This year’s tournament was no different than the last, with more than 200 teams competing in five divisions. Wright Homes/FHIT/BTM captured its sixth title in the Open Division while Bigger, Redder, Older & Colder were first-time champs in the Women’s Division. But win, lose or cheer, there’s no doubt the weekend was filled with plenty of fun; another weekend out on the pond celebrating Minnesota’s favorite sport.

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