To get there: Take Route 14 to West Point, turn in at H.F. Stewart Co. Ltd. and follow the marked lane to the excavation pit. A large parking area is provid
WEST POINT – The 10th annual P.E.I. Pond Hockey championship starts Friday in West Point. For the sixth consecutive year, the championship is being held on the Stewart Enterprises excavation pit.
P.E.I. Pond Hockey Championship, 2013
The 52 teams registered for the popular outdoor event equals last year’s turnout.
More than 100 games will be played before the “A”, “B” and “C” division champions are declared late Saturday afternoon.
Weather conditions are forecast to be favourable for both days of play, mainly sunny and -7 to -8 C.
The P.E.I. Pond Hockey Championship is a fundraiser for the West Point Volunteer Fire Department. Stephen Stewart, one of the organizers, estimates between $60,000 and $70,000 has been raised for fire-fighting equipment since the event began.
Teams from all over P.E.I., and one from the mainland are signed up.
Stewart estimates hundreds of man-hours have already been spent getting the huge, spring-fed excavation pit ready for competition. That includes repeatedly flooding the large ice surface, keeping snow cleared away and, finally, shaping the ice surface into 12 hockey rinks. Volunteers fill forms with snow to shape the “boards.” About six games will be played simultaneously.
While the games are going on volunteers will be making sure the other rinks are ready for the next games. They have their own Zamboni for flooding the ice surfaces.
Besides the hockey rinks, there will be one large ice surface for casual skating. The fire department also places its events tent on that surface. Heaters are supplied so that fans and players can go into the tent to get warm, right on the ice. A canteen, complete with cut-on-the-spot home fries, is set up in the tent, and picnic tables are provided.
Close to a dozen sponsors are helping to support the tournament.
Competition gets underway at 6:15 p.m. Friday, with all teams given the opportunity to have one game under the lights. Games conclude Friday around 9:30 p.m. after which the focus moves to the West Point Harbourside Center for a licensed pub. There will also be a pub there Saturday afternoon and evening, followed by an adult dance with Pretty Tragic.
All teams are guaranteed three games during the championship. Teams making it to the finals will play upwards to six games.
The competition features four-on-four hockey. There are no goaltenders.
Stewart said about 40 people, including score-counters and canteen attendants, will be involved in running the fundraising tournament.