Keep your skates sharp

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Coleman and Skinner

OXFORD – Even if you don’t play hockey, the picture forms easily in the mind: a sunny, crisp day; snow banks framing a shining ice surface; kids in a gypsy-clash of gear skating down the ice towards a goalie net, or maybe just two old boots indicating posts.

It’s called pond hockey, and players across the region will have a chance to play it at what organizers are saying is a ‘first annual’ tournament being held March 2nd on Salt Lake in Oxford.

”The more the better, obviously,” said Laura Coleman, manager of health, fitness and recreation at the Cumberland YMCA.

The idea of a pond hockey tournament had been considered before at the Y; it had been talked of in Oxford, too.  But when Corey Skinner, recreational and physical activities coordinator for that town contacted Coleman, the wheels were set in motion.

They hope for 10 teams of five players. The tournament will be four-on-four, with half-hour games, and the entry fee per team is $50. The Lions will be running a canteen at the event, which is open to all ages (although children playing adults might not be ideal, according to Skinner).

“There’s nothing really around (like it),” said Oxford’s coordinator.

Coleman said it’s a chance to have fun in a long winter. A couple of teams have already signed up.

“Kind of gets back to the original roots of hockey, I guess,” she said.

The two organizers probably won’t be playing, although Skinner has played since childhood and Coleman teaches kids figure skating and has played in pick-up games. They’ll be busy running the tournament.

March is touch-and-go for weather. If the ice isn’t solid, the tournament won’t happen. Skinner said a month earlier would have been better, but the idea didn’t take shape early enough. If it gets cancelled, the duo sound committed to doing it next year.

Teams can contact Coleman at the Y or Skinner at Oxford’s town hall to sign up.

Geographic location: OXFORD, Salt Lake

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