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Pond hockey tournament this Sunday

Food, prizes and 3v3 hockey in CB South

by Than Acuff

While there’s no doubt the Gunnison Valley loves hockey, there’s been one thing missing: a pond hockey tournament.

For years people have been enjoying very informal early season pond hockey in a variety of locations, be it somewhere up Cement Creek in the trees, on Long Lake, on Lake Irwin or Blue Mesa. In fact, Crested Butte town league hockey was really just glorified pond hockey on a flooded open lot in town but has since moved on to Big Mine Ice Arena. In the meantime, local hockey enthusiasts have made the random trip to places such as Creede to partake in a pond hockey tournament.

Now, thanks to the efforts of Crested Butte South POA manager and tournament director Dom Eymere and the West Elk Hockey Association, you can find a pond hockey tournament this Sunday, January 28 in Crested Butte South.

“It’s outdoor skating at its best,” says Eymere. “It’s a great chance for hockey moms and dads to play with their kids.”

But it’s more than just that, as Eymere is looking to have three divisions for all levels—beginner, intermediate and open.

“I’m hoping to get some of the college players and better players in the valley to show up to get some good competition,” says Eymere.

There will be three rinks going and the action starts around 9 a.m. The games are a 3v3 format, 24 minutes long and each team is guaranteed three games. The grills will be fired up for food, beverages will be out there and there will be prizes and a raffle.

Furthermore, if you don’t have a team, it’s no problem. Sign up as an individual and you will get put on a team the morning of the tournament. It’s $25 per individual, $60 per team and all proceeds go to support West Elk Hockey Association and the Crested Butte South rinks.

“We’re hoping to make this an annual event,” says Eymere. “We thought it would be a great opportunity in a great spot.”

Information and registration can be found online at cbsouth.net. There will also be registration open the morning of the event but Eymere encourages everyone to do it online so they can get to playing pond hockey sooner rather than later on Sunday.

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