Pond hockey returns to Excelsior Bay Jan. 25-27

New ownership and 100 percent charitable gives new meaning to sport

David Bigham in last year's pond hockey tournament. This year, the tournament is under new ownership and all-charitable. Bigham passed away last year and his friends bought the tournament in his honor. (Submitted photo)

David Bigham in last year’s pond hockey tournament. This year, the tournament is under new ownership and all-charitable. Bigham passed away last year and his friends bought the tournament in his honor. (Submitted photo)

As the weather gets colder, the events in the South Lake area heat up.

The weekend after Arctic Fever is the annual Pond Hockey Tournament on Excelsior Bay behind Maynard’s Restaurant Jan. 25-27.

Pucks drop at 9 a.m., and nighttime entertainment begins at 6 p.m. And though it still offers the same place for people who love hockey to play, this year’s tournament will be a bit different.

Keeping the same hockey tradition, the tournament has new owners this year, and with new ownership comes new opportunities.

J. Lindsay, Justin Pagel and Steve Youngstedt bought the tournament this past summer as a way to remember a friend.

An all-charitable event, the proceeds from the tournament will go towards charities around the West Metro. The purchase and change to a charitable event came about through the death of David Bigham, who passed away from a heart attack, says Lindsay.

A volunteer at the past pond hockey tournaments, youth hockey coach and all-around lover of sports, Bigham was a friend to whoever he met, Lindsay says. And what a better way to honor him with a tournament, Lindsay thought.

“When he passed away we thought it’d be a neat way to pay tribute to Dave and his legacy and help support his family as well as other charities in his honor,” Lindsay said.

The tournament has 14 rinks, with a youth, women’s and three men’s classes. There can be up to four people per team, and Lindsay expects around 60 teams to play throughout the weekend.

Though, expertise is not needed he says.

“You don’t have to be an expert hockey player to play in the pond hockey tournament,” Lindsay said. “The spirit of pond hockey is that ‘Come one, come all.’”

For more information and to register, visit pondhockeyexcelsior.com.

If You Go:

Pond Hockey Tournament on Excelsior Bay begins 9 a.m. Friday, Jan. 25 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 27, behind Maynard’s Restaurant.

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