8th Annual Buffalo tournament features 142 teams over three days of hockey play
BUFFALO, NY – Labatt Blue today announced details for the eighth annual Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament, which will return to the Buffalo RiverWorks entertainment complex on Ganson Street for the second straight year. The 2015 Tournament will feature expanded hockey play – including three full days of hockey action, from Friday, Feb. 20 – Sunday, Feb. 22, 2015. Nearly 240 total games are scheduled, as 142 teams and approximately 1,000 hockey players will take to the ice. Players will compete across 12 divisions, including 11 men’s and one women’s division, with seven player rosters.
“In 2015, we’re celebrating the 8th Annual Labatt Blue Buffalo Hockey Tournament in a big way – with a three day, 142 team tournament,” said Lisa Texido, brand manager, Labatt. “This will be one of the largest tournaments we’ve ever held in Buffalo – and we’re excited for a great weekend of hockey in February.”
Tournament registration opens on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 at noon and runs through Wednesday, December 31, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. Teams must register online at www.LabattBluePondHockey.com with their full team rosters. Date of birth for all players must be submitted upon registration. Teams will then be divided into their respective divisions and selected via random lottery draw. Players can find out if their team has been selected by checking the tournament website on Thursday, January 1, 2015 at noon. Once teams have been selected, a $250 registration fee will be due by Jan. 16. For questions, team captains should contact tournament director Ed Ellis at Ed@labattbluepondhockey.com.
2015 Tournament Structure and Format
Since the tournament is adding a third day of hockey play this year, the game schedule has been designed so teams will play two out of the three days. Specifically, Novice and the Women’s divisions will play on Friday and Saturday, while the Advanced and Intermediate divisions will play on Saturday and Sunday. Hockey action is slated to take place:
- Friday, Feb. 20, noon – 8:30 p.m.
- Saturday, Feb. 21, 10:30 a.m. – 9:15 p.m.
- Sunday, Feb. 22, 9 a.m. – 7:45 p.m.
Tournament director Ed Ellis will oversee team registration, referee recruitment, game scheduling and other tournament details. Key features of the tournament include:
- Players will skate on six refrigerated ice rinks.
- Teams will be comprised of four to seven players, 21 years of age and older, who play a four-on-four format, absent a goalie.
- Each team is guaranteed three games, with two, 13 minute halves.
- Nets are six inches high and six feet wide, like the goals used in the Labatt Blue US Adult Pond Hockey Championships held each year in Eagle River, Wisconsin.
- Teams will compete in a round robin format in a specified division. The winner of each bracket will go on to play a championship game.
Players also will notice an enhanced digital experience – from a brand new Labatt Blue Pond Hockey website, to a free downloadable mobile app offering real-time tournament and game information, live scores, schedule updates, standings and more. Players also can connect and interact socially during the tournament, if they choose, as Labatt is introducing new RFID technology for players which will allow them to share status updates from the games, photos and more with their social networks. Players will have the choice to opt-in or not, on-site during tournament registration.
“We wanted to really amp up this year’s tournament – and I think the players will really see and feel that,” Texido said. “Our new website and app provide real-time information for our players, and the new RFID technology is bringing a new social enhancement to the games, making it easy for players to share their photos, tag their friends, and a lot more.
A Site Suited for Hockey Players, Fans
The new Buffalo RiverWorks site, located at 359 Ganson Street in Buffalo, is situated on the historic landmark of the former GLF grain facility. It features two huge refrigerated ice pads which house six rinks for pond hockey play, for a total of 30,000 square feet of covered ice rinks. Because the rinks are refrigerated, hockey play is a safe bet for temperatures approximately 50 degrees F and below.
Hockey players will notice a considerable upgrade from the 2014 tournament, including five player locker rooms, an enclosed room for team registration and a slew of reserved parking spaces for players. Spectators and fans also can expect great views of the hockey action, including a second level view overlooking the hockey rinks, an expanded outdoor patio for viewing, plus plenty of indoor/outdoor concessions, a deejay, music and plenty of Labatt Blue beer.
For more information, visit www.labattbluepondhockey.com. Join the conversation about the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament at www.facebook.com/LabattBlueUS or get the Labatt Bear’s take on the games at www.twitter.com/labattusa. Fans can view and share photos, and receive updates and information on game schedules, weather conditions and more.
About Labatt USA
Headquartered in Buffalo, NY, Labatt USA imports Labatt Blue and Labatt Blue Light daily from Canada. Labatt Blue is America’s top-selling Canadian beer. First brewed in 1951, Labatt Blue offers a clean, refreshing taste, light color, slight hop aroma, good balance, fruity character and a slightly sweet taste. Labatt Blue Light, a Canadian pilsner, is the No. 2 Canadian import behind Labatt Blue.
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