WOODSTOCK – A great tag-team effort is being put into making the 2018 P.E.I. Pond Hockey Championships a success, says West Point fire chief, Harvey Stewart.
“The only thing not co-operating is Mother Nature,” said Stewart, noting a large sheet of ice created, as the basis for eight outdoor hockey rinks has been lost twice to mild weather and took a beating again on Friday until the temperature dropped.
Members of the fire department will continue to work on the sheet during the week leading up to the Feb. 10 championship. The event, an annual fundraiser for the fire department, has been relocated this year to Mill River Provincial Park.
Geoffrey Irving, a regular participant in the annual Pond Hockey tournament, is the marketing and events coordinator for the Mill River Resort. He acknowledged the hard work the volunteers have been putting in to get the ice ready. He said staff at Mill River is helping with snow clearing and co-ordination.
Stewart said the fire department has lost only one year because of unfavourable weather and they’re doing all they can to make this year’s event happen. He said teams have started to register but some are holding back waiting to see what the weather will do. He’s confident the number of teams will swell once everyone is confident the event can go ahead as scheduled.
Now in Mill River the event is in a more central location and to make it a more family-orientated event. He noted children and other family members will be able to take in the tubing hill, snowshoeing, horse and sleigh rides and other Mill River attractions when family members are playing, or between games.
Irving noted the restaurant, pool and other attractions will also be available, and a neighbour-to-neighbour celebration is happening that day at Hernewood Intermediate School. Mill River Resort will also be hosting Saturday night entertainment.
The Fire Department’s events tent will also be set up at the park providing shelter for lacing up and for concessions. Picnic tables will be spread out. Portable lighting will be on-site in case the games continue after dark.
Parking for the event is located at the hotel lot and a walkway leads to the hockey rinks.
The fire department will be bringing its Zamboni to Mill River for the final floods in the days leading up to the championship. The fire department also has forms at the ready for shaping the snow “boards” between hockey rinks.
Four-person teams can register by calling Stephen Stewart at 902-859-3400 or 902-206-0001.