U.S. Pond Hockey Championships underway - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships underway

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EAGLE RIVER (WAOW) - The first day of the U.S. Adult Pond Hockey Championships was filled with tailgating and friendly competition Friday.

It was bitterly cold, but none of the players or fans seemed to mind. Everyone was too busy playing or preparing for their next match.

Thirty rinks have been constructed on Dollar Lake. This year features the largest field of teams in the tournament's nine-year history. Organizers say more than 2,000 players on 336 teams signed up.

"This year with the Olympics going on, USA Hockey's really proud to be able to connect the game at all levels. So from the beginning all the way at 8 and under up to adults trying to become Olympic heroes, that's something we really pride ourselves on. To be a part of this feels good. We're happy to see such a good turnout," said Brian Smith, the tournament's director.

Players have come from all over the country to compete, including 79-year-old Stan Richardson. He's been playing hockey since 1951, but this weekend he's focusing on having fun as his team's chief cheerleader.

The championship game is Sunday at about noon.
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