Labatt Blue USA has announced details for the fifth annual Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament.
Taking place Friday through Sunday, Feb. 10, 11 and 12, the tournament will feature night pond hockey under the lights on Lake Erie at downtown Buffalo's Erie Basin Marina. The evening play takes advantage of the colder temperatures and will allow more teams to play.
This year, 144 teams will battle it out with larger rosters. Each team may now have seven players, up from six in earlier tourneys. More than 1,000 players are expected to skate in the 2012 tournament. Last year the tournament included 124 teams and about 700 players.
Team registration opens on Sunday, Nov. 27, at noon. Registration is done on a first-come, first-serve basis at www.labattbluepondhockey.com. Cost to register remains $250 per team, despite the increase in players allowed on the roster.
According to Labatt Blue Associate Brand Manager Brett Carlsen, tournament officials reviewed player and fan feedback, ice conditions and the last several years of tournament play to build on the experience. "Every year, we look at how we can make the experience better. Increasing teams and roster size, combined with night-time pond hockey under the lights allows more die-hard players to participate and also creates a cool atmosphere for fans, looking for something to do on Friday and Saturday nights."
Along with hockey, the tournament will feature live music, a deejay, gaming tent, and plenty of food and Labatt Blue beer.
The Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament is subject to weather conditions. In the event of inclement weather or unplayable ice, the tournament will be cancelled and players will receive a full refund. The tournament games will not be rescheduled.
For more information visit the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament on Facebook at tinyurl.com/labattfacebook. Team captains can contact Ed Ellis at [email protected]