|Alberta Pond Hockey Championships kick off today.
Highway 43 will be bustling this weekend as hockey players from across Oil Country and Canada forge their way to the 2011 World Championship Qualification Tournament being held in Peace River, Alberta on Lac Cardinal. In preparation for the tournament, crews have been working tirelessly to remove the 20 acres of snow on the lake to make 20 rinks.
Beginning on February 17, over 80 teams will take to the ice for four days in the province’s largest pond hockey tournament battling it out for the chance to qualify for the World Pond Hockey Championships. For the 3rd year, the Edmonton Oilers will be front and centre in Peace River joining in on the festivities and supporting the annual event.
To kick off the weekend, the Oilers Community Partnership and Grassroots Hockey Staff will be making school visits throughout the day on Thursday before hosting a minor hockey clinic in the evening for the Grimshaw Minor Hockey Association. The action doesn’t stop there; on Friday evening and Saturday morning, the Oilers will host two additional clinics for the young players of the Peach River and Manning Minor Hockey Associations.
“The Oilers Clinics will not only be a fun way for kids to work on their hockey skill development, but they will also celebrate the heritage of the game on outdoor rinks,” said Trevor Murphy, Oilers Manager of Community Partnerships.
The tournament will be welcoming a few special guests, former Oilers Dave Lumley, Norm Lacombe, Chris Joseph, and Rob Brown will also be making the trip north to participate in an Alumni Game on Saturday afternoon.
Alberta Pond Hockey Association will also be attempting to make history with the World’s Largest Pond Hockey Game. Over 440 people will lace-up their skates on Saturday and step up to the challenge.
In only five short years the Alberta Pond Hockey World Championships has seen tremendous growth and is now officially Alberta’s largest outdoor festival. If you’re in Peace River this weekend, be sure to stop by Lac Cardinal to take in the festivities.