U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

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A game of two teams in the 50+ division

The U.S. Pond Hockey Championships are an annual pond hockey event on Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Though an amateur tournament, the competition draws hockey enthusiasts from all over North America, many of whom have pro and college hockey experience.

ESPN.com listed the tournament as part of their "101 Things Sports Fans Must Experience Before They Die."[1]


Players in the 2020 women's final

The tournament includes competition in six divisions:

  • The Open Division (anyone can play)
  • 40+ Division
  • 50+ Division
  • Rink Rats (amateurs who would rather not face the near-pro talent that is common in the Open Division)
  • Women's
  • Seniors
  • Bender

The Bender Division is for the beautiful late bloomers of the Pond. Boys and girls who got in to hockey long after the glory days of high school were gone.

The teams compete for a trophy called the Golden Shovel. Each year, the winners of each division get to engrave their names into the Golden Shovel in a tradition reminiscent of the NHL's Stanley Cup.

Past winners (Open Division)

Year Team Origin Roster
2006 Wright Homes/Almost 40

Curt Wright, Justin Brown, Dan Goff, Dave Bakken, Dave Shute, Randy Gallatin

2007 Whiskey Bandits

Jamison Steinert, Matt Elsen, Jess Johnson, Tim Olson, Nick Hanrahan, Dan Ibrahim

2008 Wright Homes/Almost 40

Curt Wright, Justin Brown, Dan Goff, Dave Bakken, Dave Shute, Randy Gallatin

2009 Concord USA

Sam Cornelius, Peter Fitzgerald, Billy Hengen, Justin Kapsen, Geoff Kragness, Jeff Yurecko

2010 Wright Homes/Almost 40

Curt Wright, Justin Brown, Dan Goff, Dave Bakken, Dan Donnette, Randy Gallatin

2011 Whiskey Bandits

Matt Elsen, Tim Olsen, Nicholas Hanrahan, Joey Dustin, Jesse Johnson, Jamison Steinert

2012 Wright Homes/Almost 40

Curt Wright, Dave Bakken, Dan Donnette, Randy Gallatin, Geno Parrish, Matt Erredge

2013 WoodStars

Nick Reichert, Doug Nelson, Erik Heltne, Ross Cooney, Kevin Rollwagen, Mike Taylor

2014 Wright Homes/Almost 40
2015 Surging Cycle/Red Army
2016 Wright Homes/FHIT


2006 Tournament

2007 Tournament

Due to the unusually warm weather in Minnesota during the winter of 2006–2007, tournament sponsors moved the tournament from Lake Calhoun to Lake Nokomis. Notable players in the 2007 tournament include:

2008 Tournament

2009 Tournament

2010 Tournament

2011 Tournament

Held January 21–23, 2011 on Lake Nokomis.

2012 Tournament

See also


  1. ^ "Caple: A sports fan's checklist - ESPN Page 2". sports.espn.go.com.

External links

  • U.S. Pond Hockey Championships Web Site

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