Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic

Posted at: 01/29/2013 6:27 PM
Updated at: 01/30/2013 10:55 PM
By: Laura Kennedy

The Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic is a winter favorite in the Twin Ports. In some cases, it brings players back to their stomping grounds.

Kyle Nosan and the Bud Light/Dugout Lounge crew were two time defending champs coming into the weekend. On Sunday, they completed the three-peat.

"We know each other and we know how each other play so it's just a lot of fun," Nosan said.

"It feels pretty good. It's nice to get back together with the guys and have an annual thing like this," said Kevin Kuklinski, Nosan's teammate.

Some pond hockey tournaments, like the one in the Twin Cities, use plastic boards during competition. But these folks say they prefer playing against the snow.

"It changes the game. It makes it a more physical game. That's not what it's about," said Jason Rauner, tournament director. "It's about having fun playing some hockey, pulling the puck out of the snow and keep going."

"If you put the boards in, I think you're gonna have more of a grinding game and we're getting old. We're not really looking for that," Nosan said. "We enjoy this. There's the breaks in the play when they pucks go out."

And playing on a rink surrounded by snow brings these skaters back to the good old days.

"It's nice having the snow and being more natural," Kuklinski said. "This is the way it was meant to be, this is the way everybody grew up playing."

Rauner says that sense of tradition is exactly what the Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic is all about.