Pond Hockey Tournament Moved to Woodland Park

Unseasonably warm weather conditions force organizers to move three-day hockey tournament

By Beacon Staff

Due to unseasonably warm weather, the Montana Pond Hockey Classic is being relocated from Foys Lake to Woodland Park in downtown Kalispell, organizers announced Tuesday.

The ice conditions at Foys Lake were deemed unsafe, forcing the large event to be moved to a backup location. The second annual event will be held on the ice rink and pond in Woodland Park and remain on schedule, beginning Friday morning and running throughout the weekend. Playoff and final rounds will be held on Sunday.

“We’re excited to maintain the outdoor hockey experience for this year’s event at a new venue in the heart of Kalispell,” stated Scott Crowder, Pond Hockey Classic Commissioner. “We’ll have a conditioned rink as well as multiple natural rinks to create the best of both worlds while ensuring safety and the opportunity to play hockey outdoors.”

Kalispell has experienced spring-like conditions in recent weeks, with daytime temperatures hovering around the 40s and 50s. A record high for Feb. 13 was set, with the temperature reaching 56 degrees, seven degrees above the previous high set in 1977, according to the National Weather Service.

“Public safety needs to be our first concern,” stated DC Haas, Smith Valley Fire Chief. “Recent weather has provided an uncertainty in how safe the ice on Foys Lake will be over the next several days.”

Over 60 teams are registered to participate in this year’s event.

Hockey fans are encouraged to attend the three-day event to watch four-on-four tournament action with teams from across North American. Admission is free. Also, free skate rentals will be available for kids. There will be food and drink vendors on site.

Organizers are asking the Kalispell City Council for permission to serve alcohol at the public site. The council will review the request for a special use permit at Tuesday night’s meeting.

Event parking will be located at the Conrad Complex on Woodland Park Drive. Free shuttles will be available from the parking area to the event.

A community skate night will be held Friday night, from 5 to 7 p.m.

For those participating, game times will be posted online and available on Thursday at the player checkin at Moose’s Saloon starting at 5 p.m.

For more information, visit the Montana Pond Hockey Classic website.

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