COLUMBUS, Ohio -- While most people are recovering from their Thanksgiving feast or out shopping for the holiday season, hundreds of high school hockey players will invade the Columbus area for the 14th annual Chiller Thanksgiving Classic this weekend.
Since its beginning, the tournament has grown into one of the largest high school hockey competitions in the country with 48 high school varsity and junior varsity (JV) teams participating in the event.
Hosted by The OhioHealth Chiller rinks in Columbus, the tournament spans three days across three different Chiller locations around around central Ohio.
Because the number of participating schools is so large, there are four different varsity divisions and two JV divisions, and each team gets a four-game guarantee against four different opponents. The tournament concludes on Sunday with championship games at Chiller Dublin, Easton, and North (in Lewis Center).
“We put a lot of time and effort into making it a first-class event,” said Jeremy Rogers, assistant general manager at The Chiller and the tournament's organizer.
Most of the participating teams are from local high schools or other areas of Ohio, including Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Toledo. However, a few teams from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Indiana, and even two teams from Canada will be participating in the tournament this year.
All participating teams are classified as either Varsity/JV Ohio or Varsity/JV USA, West or East. All Varsity Ohio teams will compete at the Chiller Dublin location while all Varsity USA teams will play at Chiller North. All JV/Ohio and JV/USA teams will play at Chiller Easton.
Visit the tournament page at the Chiller.com for more details on game times and locations.