On the ice at the 2017 PBR Pond Hockey Tournament (photos and video) | SummitDaily.com

On the ice at the 2017 PBR Pond Hockey Tournament (photos and video)

Call it the pond hockey tournament that nearly never happened.

Just a week ago, when event organizers with the annual Pabst Colorado Pond Hockey Tournament first got into town, nighttime temperatures were hardly getting below 30 degrees and the venue at North pond Park in Silverthorne was a mess. Below about two feet of rapidly melting snow were seven or eight inches of thick, mealy slush — the kind no zamboni can fix. For the first time in the event's eight-year history, it was one the verge of cancelation.

But then February returned with average temps in the teens, bringing with it newly frozen ice and a total of 186 teams from 46 different states, plus Quebec. The three-day tournament was saved by Mother Nature at the last minute, and an estimated 5,000 daily players, spectators, scorekeepers and hockey lovers got the only thing they ever wanted: a weekend of pond hockey in the Rocky Mountains.

The Summit Daily stopped by the tourney on Saturday to catch the final day of round-robin play before the start of today's playoffs. Cheers.