By Steve Ruskay
The Fernie Griz pond hockey team will be once again representing the community at the World Pond Hockey championships this year.
Pond hockey is the way the game was meant to be played. Outside, on a frozen lake, with no boards. It is hockey at it’s purest.
This year marks the 12th year of the World Pond Hockey Championship, held yearly in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. This sleepy east coast town of 1,100 is always eager to be host to this monumental event, and showcase it’s world famous ‘east coast hospitality.’
130 teams are selected from around the world to play for the prestigious honour of being the world’s best on the pond. On the sometimes bitterly cold ice of Roulston Lake, 20 rinks measuring 75 feet, by 150 feet, are carefully surveyed and manicured. 20 games are played simultaneously, with thousands of fans, and fellow hockey players cheering wildly. Each game consists of two 15-minute halves, with a five-minute intermission. There are no goalies, pads, or refs. An official keeps score, and throws out a new puck every time one should vanish into the snow. Last year, the Griz finished third in pool play, narrowly missing the playoffs. Off the ice, the Griz were honoured with the ‘Nicest Team Sweater 2012’ award last year. This year’s tournament will take place from February 7 to 10, and will see more then 8,000 players, fans and media, flock to Plaster Rock. The Griz face off during the opening round against the hometown team from Plaster Rock, ‘International Harvestors’, under the lights at 7 p.m. on the night of Thursday February 7. The Griz have two games on February 8, and two more on February 9. If all goes well, playoffs begin in then early morning of February 10!
To cheer on the Griz, and keep up to date on scores, stats, adventures, and standings, ‘like’ The Fernie Griz Pond Hockey Team on Facebook. For Tournament information, visit www.worldpondhockey.com.
Go Griz Go!