WATERVILLE — When Patrick Guerrette first started playing ice hockey, it was on a pond.
“We had a small pond behind our house. You could shovel off a spot and play,” Guerrette said.
Now the Health Coordinator at the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA of Greater Waterville, Guerrette is organizing a pond hockey tournament he hopes will tap into the happy memories of other hockey players who learned the game playing outside with their friends.
The inaugural Maine Pond Hockey Classic will be held Feb. 9-10 on the northeast corner of China Lake. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit the Boys and Girls Club and YMCA of Greater Waterville.
Pond hockey is played 4-on-4, with no goalies or on ice officials. Each team is allowed a maximum roster of seven players for the Maine Pond Hockey Classic.
When kicking around fund raising ideas, Guerrette’s thoughts quickly turned to organizing a pond hockey tournament. Guerrette took to the game later than most, in his teens, but still played hockey as a Lawrence High School student in the late 1990s.
“I really enjoyed it,” Guerrette said. “It’s such a fun sport to play.”
After scouting locations across central Maine, China Lake seemed like the best fit to host a pond hockey tournament.
“We need a lot of open space, and they have it,” Guerrette said.
Guerrette said the tournament will have four divisions: Open, Recreational, 40+, and Women’s. He hopes the tournament attracts teams from around New England and Canada.
“I’m hoping for 60 (teams). Sixty would be great, but if we get 40, I will not be disappointed,” Guerrette said. “If we get 20, I won’t be disappointed. We have to start somewhere.”
Each team will play at least four games, with three games in pool play leading to a single elimination playoff round.
Anyone who would like to get involved with the tournament can contact Guerrette via email at [email protected], or by phone, 873-0684.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242