The Hippo


Jan 16, 2019








Courtesy photo.

1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship 

When: Thursday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 11
Where: White Park, located at the intersection of White and Washington streets, Concord 
Cost: Free admission 
More info:
Schedule of events 
Thursday Night Lights Concord Youth hockey game - 6 to 7:30 p.m. 
Heated spectator tent open - 5 to 8 p.m. 
Food trucks open - 5 to 8 p.m.
Food trucks open - 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. 
Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament - 9 a.m. to 8:20 p.m. 
Heated spectator tent open - 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Public skating on rink 9 - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. 
Snow sculptures - noon
Bonfires - 4 p.m. 
Live music: October Sons - 5 to 7 p.m. 
Atlas Fireworks show - 7:15 p.m. 
Food trucks open - 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament - 8 a.m. to 7:20 p.m. 
Heated spectator tent open - 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. 
Youth Hockey Shinny Tournament - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Evo Rock rock wall - 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
Bonfires - 3 p.m. 
Live music: The Dusty Gray Band - 3 to 5 p.m. 
Food trucks open - 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 5 to 8 p.m. 
Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament semifinals and finals - 9 a.m. to noon

Pucks will fly
Pond hockey tournament returns to Concord

By Angie Sykeny

 Ninety-eight teams will hit the ice in this year’s 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship, happening Thursday, Feb. 8, through Sunday, Feb. 11, at White Park in Concord. The three-day tournament — originally scheduled to take place two weeks earlier but postponed due to weather — will feature ongoing pond hockey matches on eight rinks set up on White Park Pond as well as a winter festival with food trucks, family games, live music and more. 

Now in its eighth year, the event was created to commemorate Concord’s role in the history of ice hockey, which began more than 200 years ago at St. Paul’s School, one of the earliest institutions to play the game. Many believe the first organized hockey game in the United States was played at the school in 1883. The pioneering players used the term “black ice” to describe the smooth, transparent ice that formed naturally atop the pond where they played. 
“There’s some really neat history, with the city of Concord being one of the homes of hockey in the U.S.,” said Chris Brown, president of the Black Ice Pond Hockey Association, which organizes the tournament. “We thought this would be a great way to honor that history and to support ice skating and winter recreational activities in the Concord area.” 
The tournament will have 10 divisions, including men’s 18+, 35+ and 55+ and women’s 18+ divisions, ranging from competitive and high-level to recreational and just-for-fun. Matches are played with four against four, but teams can have up to seven players on the roster. Unlike traditional ice hockey, pond hockey has no goalies and no nets. Instead, goals are scored by shooting the puck into one of the two 12-inch openings cut into a 6-foot-wide wooden box. 
“A lot of teams get together [before the tournament] to practice their skills,” Brown said. “Even if the people on the teams play regular hockey, they understand that pond hockey is a totally different game. There’s definitely a science to it.” 
Matches will proceed in standard tournament style: Each team will play at least four games — two on Friday and two on Saturday — and the winning teams will move on to compete in semi-finals and finals on Sunday. An announcer and scoreboard will accompany each rink, and live scoring will be available on the event website.
The No. 1 team in each division will be presented with the coveted Hobey Stick Award, named in honor of Hobey Baker, a Hockey Hall of Famer and one of the original St. Paul’s hockey players. 
For spectators, there will be food trucks and heated tents with interactive games and activities, merchandise for sale, silent auctions and live music by local bands. Other festivities happening throughout the weekend will include youth hockey games, bonfires, snow sculptures, a rock wall, fireworks and more. 
A shuttle service will be provided on Friday and Saturday, running from Concord High School to White Park and stopping at multiple downtown restaurants. 
“We’re definitely trying to create an atmosphere where people can hang out for the day,” Brown said. “It’s a great opportunity to see old friends you haven’t seen in a while and to enjoy activities for the whole family.” 

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