Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Rocky Mountain Adventure Gear - For all Your Motorized and Non-Motorized Adventures!

By Andi Bourne
Pathfinder 

From Skates to Boots, The Fun Never Stopped

 

January 11, 2018

Nathan Bourne, Pathfinder

Berkley Svingen of the Frosty Boxes sends the puck toward the goal in the Co-Rec Championship Game. Frosty Boxes donned the colorful tu-tus provided by the tournaments official photographer Juan de Santa Anna. Every team wearing the accessory won until the women's league championship game.

SEELEY LAKE – For the eighth year, hockey players took to the "ponds" in the south bay of Seeley Lake Jan. 5-7. The Seeley Lake Pond Hockey tournament was filled with 44 teams. Despite the poor ice conditions, organizers reaped nothing but praise from the players as the tournament came to a close.

Organizer Mike Lindemer said the ice was "buff" at the end of December thanks to many hours by himself and Mark Kues, dubbed "Ice Dawg." When 30+ inches of snow fell between Christmas and New Years they were back to square one.

After snow blowing the rinks and dealing with slush, they reorganized the schedule eliminating one of the four rinks. With temperatures above freezing most of the weekend, the ice was soft and the skates shredded it.

"It was the most challenging ice I've ever had to deal," said Lindemer.

For the first time in eight years, the organizers agreed that Sunday's games would be played with boots instead of skates for safety.

"People weren't getting hurt yet," said Lindemer. "But if we would have kept going we would have had some injuries."

While there was some resistance to the limitation at first, by the championship games morale was high and all the players were having fun.

"I think it was extremely successful and it was the kick off to a good winter," said Lindemer. "Thank you to all the volunteers and the support of the community for making it possible."

Tournament Recap

Team YMV defended their 2017 title in the A League. They defeated the Cleveland Steamers with a score of 16-8 for the championship.

The Dukes from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho were newcomers to the tournament. They swept the B League going undefeated in the tournament and beating South of the Border in the championship game 13-3. They all agreed the tournament was a blast and they would be back again next year.

Andi Bourne, Pathfinder

Nancy-Clair Laird from Georgia received her trophy from Tournament Organizer Mike Lindemer. This was Laird's seventh year participating in the tournament. She plays with a group from Bozeman and helped the Minx win the Women's League. "In Seeley Lake, Mike Lindemer and his family are awesome. They are great people and there are great people here," said Laird. "We love Seeley Lake."

For the Co-Rec League, Frosty Boxes (team name abbreviated) from Missoula came back for another championship title after losing to Soft Dump in the Corner the past two years. All of their games during the regular tournament were close match-ups including the championship game. They pulled off the win against Those That Can't by five points, 14-9.

In the Women's League, Minx Team Captain Susan Meyer played with a team three years ago and decided to start her own team this year. Aly Ridgway and Molly Pickall were the only two that made the tournament. They played their first playoff game against Tampond Hockey with only the three players winning by 20 points.

"It was tiring but super fun," said Meyer.

When they took on the Frisky Biscuits in the championship game they added Maggie Sizemore and Nancy-Clair Laird from other teams. They led 7-3 at the half and just added to their lead for the win, 19-5.

"We are from Bozeman, we love Seeley Lake and we will be back next year. We are pumped to be here," said Meyer.

Tampond Hockey from the Women's League earned the Golden Shovel Award for the second year in a row for shoveling the rink the most times, an honor given to the losing team.

 

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