Northwoods Pond Hockey Classic Takes Over Gull Lake
Skates, hockey sticks, a puck and a whole lot of smiles were out on the ice as the Northwoods Pond Hockey classic got underway. The two-day tournament is all about going back to the basics of hockey.
“Pond hockey is all about just the enjoyment of the way the sport began,” said Jeremy Chatman, Co-Founder of the Northwoods Pond Hockey Classic. “It started out on frozen lakes, ponds and rivers.”
For many, no better place comes to mind than being out on Gull Lake.
“It’s such a breath of fresh air; it’s fun, great to get outside,” said Nina Goldman, an attendee. “I’m not skating today, but it’s fun to watch my friends participate and skate their hearts out.”
In its first year, the founders weren’t sure what the community response would be, but they were happy to have seven teams participating in a round robin-style tournament.
“It’s like a kid on Christmas morning: you don’t know what you are going to get, but once it is here, you just love what’s going on,” Chatman said.
“I love Gull Lake, this is awesome; it’s been a blast so far, but it’s kind of windy and chilly,” said Holiday Resort team member Haylee Stuhr.
But the weather didn’t stop the team members or onlookers from enjoying some classic pond hockey.
“Some team spirit always helps,” Goldman said while shaking her pom-poms up in the air.
It’s a Minnesota tradition that is all about bringing people together.
“Bring hockey back to this community and have a fun sport for everyone to come out and enjoy the ice,” said Scott Nelson, Co-Founder of the Northwoods Pond Hockey Classic.
With its first time in Brainerd, organizers hope to continue to grow and spread their simple message.
“Just generate some fun and have some good times out here,” Chatman said.
“I want to do this every year, this is so much fun,” Stuhr said.