2017 PBR pond hockey tourney brings hundreds to Silverthorne for President’s Weekend | SummitDaily.com

2017 PBR pond hockey tourney brings hundreds to Silverthorne for President’s Weekend

Ladies and gents, it's pond hockey season in Summit.

Beginning Friday and continuing through Sunday, the annual Pabst Colorado Pond Hockey Tournament takes over North Pond in Silverthorne for an eighth season of hockey, giveaways, skating contests, barbecues, panda costumes and plenty of America's best beer from 1893.

Thanks in large part to the PBR sponsorship, the Silverthorne tourney has grown and grown over the past eight years. It now draws more than 1,000 players from across the U.S. and Canada for three days of play, ranging from never-evers to former NCAA and JuCo players.

At any time during the weekend, more than 20 games are happening simultaneously on North Pond, with play split between six divisions: open (men's and coed A/B play), the Pabst League (men's and coed C/D), the Brown Bottle League (men's and coed E), the 45-plus Steel Can League (for the old farts), the women's-only division and, new this season, the Broken Bottle Division (newbies only). Every team in every division plays for prizes, and winners in each leave with the best prize of all: a custom trophy and bragging rights for a full year, not to mention free entry for the 2018 tourney.

As usual, the three-day event was sold out by early February, but games are still open to spectators, hockey fans and general hecklers of all ages.

"It is with great pride and a deep respect for our humble beginning that we continue to produce the largest pond hockey tournament west of the Mississippi," the event website reads. "Our goal, however, is never to be the 'largest' tournament in the world. Our goal is to be the best pond hockey tournament in the world."

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Here's what to expect out on Mother Nature's ice this Presidents Day Weekend.

Playtime

Round-robin play for pools in all divisions kicked off yesterday and continues today. Games run from 7 a.m. to about 9:30 p.m., with a break at 12:15 p.m. for the public long-shot competition. Rules are simple: the person who sinks the most pucks from the greatest distance wins swag from sponsors Oakley and Never Summer. Not bad for a midday break from shotgunning beers. At 5 p.m., Oakley hosts another contest for speed skating and hockey skills.

Today's games wrap up with the Après Ice Party at the Silverthorne Pavilion. That post-game bash is free for players and $10 for visitors, beginning at 9 p.m. and running until about midnight with player's awards, giveaways, prize drawings, more PBR (duh) and live music. It's limited to 600 people, so if you want to win $500 in the best hockey hair contest, get there early.

The tourney wraps up on Sunday with playoffs for all divisions. Finals games begins at 7:30 a.m. and run to about 12:30 p.m., followed immediately by an awards presentation. By 1 p.m. the players' lounge and beer garden closes up shop on yet another sold-out weekend. It's good to be back on the ice, if only for a few days.

2017 PBR Colorado Pond Hockey Tournament

What: Three days of round-robin and playoff games on the natural ice, drawing roughly 1,000 players from the U.S. and Canada

When: Friday to Sunday, Feb. 17-19

Where: North Pond Park, Hamilton Creek Road in Silverthorne

Cost: Free for spectators

All games are free and open to spectators of all ages. The Après Ice Party tonight is $10 for adults only. Parking at North Pond Park is limited and organizers recommend parking at the elementary school lot north of the pond for a small fee. To find out more, including past winners, see ColoradoPondHockey.com.

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Tourney schedule

Saturday, Feb. 18

6 a.m. — Players’ lounge opens for teams

7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. — Day Two games (round robin tournament play)

9 a.m. to 9 p.m. — Beer garden, tavern, bar games and campfire area (open to the public)

12:15 p.m. — Long shot competition, sponsored by Never Summer and Oakley

5 p.m. — Speed and skills competition, sponsored by Oakley

9:30 p.m. — Players’ lounge closes

9:30 p.m. to midnight — Après Ice Party, Silverthorne Pavilion (open to the public)

Sunday, Feb. 19

6:30 a.m. — Players’ lounge opens for teams

8 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Beer garden, tavern, bar games and campfire area (open to the public)

7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. — Day Three playoff games (single elimination)

12:30 p.m. — Trophy presentations

1 p.m. — Players’ lounge closes