For Immediate Release
November 22, 2016
Contact: Patrick Guerette
MAINE POND HOCKEY CLASSIC RETURNS-
Excitement builds with new teams and sponsors.
Sidney, Maine — Those who grew up playing pond hockey know there are few experiences that compare to skating outside. The wide open ice, crisp fresh air, unpredictable surface, and “gentleman’s” rules are all part of what makes pond hockey a unique and special experience. Over the past few years, the Maine Pond Hockey Classic has brought hundreds of players from around the northeast and beyond, to experience hockey in its purest form … on a pond.
From humble beginnings: The Maine Pond Hockey Classic began in 2013 with 14 teams on China Lake and has quickly grown into one of Maine’s biggest winter events. Now in its 4th year and 2nd year at Snow Pond Center for the Arts in Sidney, ME, organizers are expecting over 60 teams. “This year we expect to nearly double in size,” explains tournament Director Patrick Guerette. “We really have our past players to thank for that; they go home and tell their friends about it, and the next year we get more teams coming from further and further away.”
The tournament has already secured over 20 teams from Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, and, of course, Maine. “We didn’t have 20 teams registered until January last year, and it’s only November!” commented Kim Fleming who serves as the Volunteer Entertainment Director. “We are really excited about the growth and direction of this tournament.”
And the popularity has not gone unnoticed, as the tournament recently partnered with Camden National Bank as its new MVP Sponsor.
“At Camden National Bank, we know the value of a healthy and active lifestyle,” said Renee Smyth, Camden’s Chief Marketing Officer. “Outdoor recreation, such as pond hockey, is a great way to stay active in the wintertime. We are honored to be able to partner with the Alfond Youth Center to support the Maine Pond Hockey Classic, which draws teams of all ages and abilities across the great state of Maine, and beyond, to the Waterville area.”
The Tournament offers 6 divisions for players of different ages and abilities; including, Open “A, ”Open “B,” Women’s, Recreational, 40+, and “Just for Fun.” Each division winner receives a prize pack including complimentary entry to the following year’s tournament, Championship Sweatshirts, and a unique trophy featuring the State of Maine cut from old hockey sticks. “We like having a trophy that you won’t see anywhere else; besides, it really wouldn’t be a great representation of Maine if we didn’t take something old and discarded and turn it into something awesome,” said Guerette.
The Maine Pond Hockey Classic provides a festival-like atmosphere for players and spectators alike. The tournament site will contain at least 8 rinks, community skating area, beer garden, fire pits, music, tournament store, food vendors, a Polar Bear Dip on Saturday morning, and more.
Tournament organizers have experienced what a great location Snow Pond Center for the Arts is for the tournament. “When you are hosting players from far away, you want to make sure you think of the entire player experience,” said Bert Languet, Volunteer Director of Event Operations. “This location provides a lot of amenities. We have ample parking, drive on access to the ice, and heated indoor space for between games. The players really appreciate these conveniences.”
The Maine Pond Hockey Classic is an annual fundraising tournament supporting the Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCA of Greater Waterville. This year’s tournament will be held on February 10th – 12th at the Snow Pond Center for the Arts on Snow Pond (Messalonskee Lake) in Sidney, Maine. Registration opened on October 1, 2016 for the 2017 Maine Pond Hockey Classic, interested teams must register prior to January 10, 2017, and teams registering before December 1 can save $50.
Each team plays three pool play games for seeding followed by a single elimination tournament. Pond hockey is played 4 on 4 without goalies or on ice officials, and each team is allowed to have up to 7 players on their roster.
For those looking to get involved with the MPHC, there are several volunteer opportunities available. If interested, please contact Patrick Guerette, Tournament Director, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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