For almost fifteen years players have been traveling to Rangeley from all over New England and beyond for the annual Pond Hockey festival. It has been said to be the tournament that was started by those who wanted to play hockey the way it was meant to be played, and I can see why. It’s nicely situated between the small ice skating area outside of Ecopelagicon, where you might see younger players learning the sport and the other side of the pond where you might see some ice fisherman. Besides the charming setting, Haley Pond is in the heart of downtown Rangeley and walking distance to a variety of places to stay, shop, eat and make merry as you recall the matches. For hockey enthusiasts it’s the perfect little winter weekend getaway. It’s no wonder so many teams come back year after year.

Growing up as a child near an ice pond or small rink playing hockey gets in your blood. So as one becomes an adult, those who are able to fit in some practice during the year are happy for opportunities like this to compete.

Teams that competed this year included the Alpine Archers, a new team called the Bulls that consisted of some young local men, CCM Hockey, the Dangleberries, Lady Beavers 1 & 2, Les Tigres, Maine Sport, Pond Stars 1 & 2, the Portland Hockey Club, Portland Paper Products, a new women’s team the Spooners, the Ice Holes, TEC Associates, and What the Puck. I think you can tell by some of the names of the teams what a fun group of athletes they are.

Congratulations to the winners of the events- Les Tigres for the men’s competition and Pond Stars 1 for the women’s.

Coordinators Karen Seaman, Bill Brey and Don Thompson spent a lot of time trying to make sure everything went smoothly. They needed to pay attention to weather, ice, tournament scheduling, team communication, and also prepare for the unexpected. Luckily, everything went great with fabulous ice conditions and perfect weather. Like good volunteers, as soon as the awards were given out they were already discussing next year’s event. As the festival usually takes place on Super Bowl weekend they decided they are going to do a poll of players and other interested parties and see if that needs to be adjusted for next year. However, for all the work it takes, the coordinators much like the players enjoy the challenge and will do it again next year- all for the love of pond hockey.

 

Helping to make Pond Hockey possible: From left Matthew Pellerin, William Brey, Karen Seaman, Alyssa Carignan, Don Thompson Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

 

1st place in the men’s division, Les Tigres Stephanie Chu-O’Neil 

1st place in the women’s division, the Pond Stars Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Mens’ finals match Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Womens’ finals match between the Lady Beavers and the Pond Stars Stephanie Chu-O’Neil

Team Maine Sport has been traveling the to the Pond Hockey Festival for three years. Stephanie Chu-O’Neil


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