10 Years of Pond Hockey

Ten years ago, an idea was born... Let's invite people to raise some money and play some hockey.  A pretty novel and pretty brilliant idea our Executive Director and (one of the) biggest Oilers fan I've ever met, Kerry Precht, can be thanked for. The tournament has brought players back year after year - many saying that it is what they scheduled their January around. It has been a day that many people come together each year to make happen.

We had a humble beginning in 2010. Six teams and one ice rink. Our Site Manager, Dave Reimier had built a pull "zambonie" to flood the ice which we still use today (with some modifications). We raised $10,128 that first year.

Our first Pond Hockey Rink in 2010
Our second, third, and fourth years showed a lot of growth. Six teams grew to eight which grew to ten. Need for a second rink was evident as was a tightening of the rules...who knew hockey players could be so competitive?!...Okay, okay - well...maybe we knew that already.
2011
2011


"Player's Bench" on Rink 1 in 2011
Through the years of tournaments, we've had temperatures of +5 degrees down to starting games in -25 (and only getting as warm as -20 throughout the day). Do you think we've ever postponed? Nope - we've battled through melted ice patches, four inch cracks due to frigid temperatures, and near perfect ice conditions. Our Ice Maintenance Teams have solved nearly every problem over the years to make the tournament a go. I'm a little surprised we haven't been asked to supervise some of the Heritage Games!

2012
2012


2012

2012








The "Freezer" year. Temperatures in 2012 never went above -20.
There has been a lot of development and commitment from the teams since the beginning. From matching team jerseys to custom made jerseys that were created just for our Pond Hockey tournament. In more recent years - we've seen youth groups travel out to cheer on their favourite team. The names have been some of my favourites: District 5 Slugs, Rock 'n' Roll Kuchen, Ugly Pucklings, Pond Paddlers, and one of my favourites - Kevin and the Heartbreakers.

2013
2013




2013
2013









This is has been one of our most favourite photos. It captures the joy and competitiveness that is at the heart of the tournament.
As the tournament has grown - we've seen it change. Announcers, Hockey organs playing our favourite hockey tunes (from inside a mini-van because it was -20 out), Colour Commentators, and Kids Skillz Competitions. The evolution has been epic.

2014

2014












2015 was a special year in fundraising for us. This is the year where teams not only became competitive ON the ice - but they became competitive in raising funds for camp. We a big jump in how much money teams started bringing in. We also started a Silent Auction. We saw $31,888 come in 2015 - more than $10,000 more than the previous year. This was also the year that we discovered that Peanut Butter Pies can be auctioned off for thousands of dollars.
2015
2015


2015 was our first Kids Skillz Competition. We've seen more and more kids attend the day to enjoy a different side to Evergreen. Just wait until we introduce Crokicurl this year!!

More teams meant something needed to change for our Maintenance team. It meant that we needed to become more efficient with flooding the rinks and patching the ice. In 2015, we introduced the first "Quadbonie" to the world. Maybe this wasn't the World's First but certainly it was to us. Adding another flooding machine cut precious time down between games and made it possible to care for both rinks at the same time.

2016 - Quadbonie
2016



 




 


2016
2016 was a landmark year as we were able to raise OVER $40,000. It was a very exciting tournament. That number will set the number to beat in 2019.

2017
2017








2017
2017













We have loved every minute of each tournament. Even when it's freezing or the sun is melting holes in the ice. There are always smiles and laughter to be heard across the two rinks. We've grown from having the Players' Bench on Rink 2 in the horse trailer to having their own heated cabin, from six teams to trying to figure out where we would someday put Rink 3 because we're getting mighty tired of turning away teams numbering over 13.

2018 - PC: Birds Nest
2018











This January marks 10 years of Pond Hockey for us. In the last nine we've raised $208,212! That's amazing! We're gunning make it our biggest year yet. By setting the goal this year at $42,000 - we will hit $250,000 in 10 years! Let's score that goal together. Whether you're a hockey player, a spectator, or just a regular person that LOVES camp - let's see lives transformed by the Power of Jesus together!

If you know of a team that is playing and would like to contribute to them or you would simply like to contribute to our Pond Hockey tournament - go HERE to donate.

Then - join us! Join us on January 12, 2019 for our Pond Hockey Tournament. Read up on it here.

 .: jogee :.


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