Mother Nature, misconduct for unsportsmanlike conduct, was how one spectator described the weekend’s pond hockey tournament on the lake.
Players were faced with a variety of weather — Friday evening games were postponed to Saturday due to the warm temperature and melting ice. Then Saturday a full day was played in conditions which deteriorated to slush and water on the ice by the end of play. The last games were played in boots instead of on skates and passing the puck was difficult.
Sunday morning players and organizers awoke to a winter storm with blowing snow however ice conditions had improved.
“We had nice hard ice conditions,” said Ron Lebsack, the town’s director of recreation, parks and culture. “For the semi-finals and finals on Sunday we had perfect weather.”
He noted this was year five of the event so “everybody understands you take the weather you get and do what you can”.
“Overall the event went well,” Lebsack said, despite the whole range of weather. Twenty-eight teams competed for prizes in three divisions. That was “down a handful from last year”.
The Sidney Crosby division was won by Handlebars for the fifth year in a row. The Nine Inch Males won the Wayne Gretzky division. And another perennial winner, Manchesthair United, won the Gordie Howe division.
Second places went to Big D’s (Gretzky division), NBD (Crosby division), Hazzard Hackers (Howe division).
Jersey Night, Saturday evening at the multiplex, went very well, according to Lebsack. The seven celebrities shared good stories and good laughs. “The hit of the evening, in terms of stories and laughs, was Gizmo Williams.”
Joining Williams were former Los Angeles King Charlie Simmer (participating for the fifth year), former Edmonton Oiler Glenn Anderson, Henry Burris, the Canadian Football League’s most outstanding player of 2010, Glenn Harper who’s had a 30 year career in the Canadian Football League and providing entertainment Kraig Neinhuis.
Results of the fundraising efforts during the evening had not been completely calculated by press time.
Sobey’s provided the whole dinner including volunteers.
Several of the celebrities played a game against the Manchesthair United team at noon on Saturday and were joined by a ringer, nine-year-old Armand Burris, Henry’s son, who contributed to the scoring.
Volunteers were an integral part of the event’s success, indicated Lebsack. “We had good volunteer support.” Among those assisting were members of the Sylvan Lake Admirals organization and Lighthouse Christian Academy.
Next year’s date has been set for the same weekend – it’ll be February 28, March 1 and 2, 2014.