Tournament Cancelled, But Party to Go On at Rink Saturday

Four straight days of above freezing temperatures took a toll on the ice at the Teresa K. Hilander Community Ice Rink in the days leading up to the ninth edition of the Door County Pond Hockey Tournament. Organizers made the call Thursday morning to cancel after ice deteriorated overnight and Saturday’s forcaset called for temperatures approaching 40 degrees.

“If Saturday was going to be below freezing, we might have a shot,” said founder Brian Fitzgerald. “But with the weather that warm there’s no way the ice we have will hold up to tournament play for more than a couple of hours.”

But there will still be plenty of activity at the rink on Saturday, with live music from Absolute Bratwurst from 12-3 pm, games, a big heated tent and bonfires. There will be hot food from local restaurants, beverages and One Barrel Brewing Co. beer for sale at the warming house.

“We have the tent, the food and we’ll have ice on some level,” Fitzgerald said.

Temperatures will dip Friday, and Fitzgerald and his crew will work as hard as possible to make the best ice surface they can for pickup games and open skating.

Fitzgerald said the ice crew of Pacers staff and rink staff put in over 90 hours flooding the rink over the previous 10 days or so of freezing temperatures to build up a base of ice in the event of warmer weather. That work is the only reason there’s a base of some ice now.

Check the Door County Pond Hockey Facebook page for updates on the tournament and conditions. 

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