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Madison- Before indoor rinks with concessions stands hockey players made due with any ice they had.


“Playing outside is magical.  This is where it all started.  It started on the rivers and the ponds.”


To a true hockey player, going back in time is what it’s all about.


“Every hockey player likes to play outside because it’s a different feel on you skates.  It’s a different sound on the ice, and you can be creative out on the ice.”


Much to the delight of hockey lovers, outdoor hockey is coming to Madison during the last weekend in January.  The Capitol city will host the first Mad City Pond Hockey Tournament.


“The event in itself, I can’t believe how fast and cool everything is coming together.”


More than 40 teams have signed up, and there is plenty of room for more.  There will be six rinks set up at the Vilas Park lagoon.  The 4-on-4 tournament is divided into different divisions- with no goalies and smaller goals.


“It’s open to any age and skill level.  If you want to play hockey, contact us and we will help you play hockey.”


Organizer Ben Cowan says there have been pond hockey tournaments in Eagle River, Wisconsin and in Minnesota- but it’s time to bring this to Madison.


“We want to make this a family event.  They can come down and check this out and have some fun.”


“With the winter we have been having, you might be wondering why anyone would want to do anything outdoors for an extended period of time.  There are two reasons: 1) They’re hockey players, and 2) it’s for a very good cause.”


“I think everyone has to pick a charity and pick a cause they are passionate about.”


The wife of Cowan’s high school hockey coach passed away of pancreatic cancer.  The event is free, but there will be a carnival tent at the tournament- with all proceeds going to the UW Carbone Cancer Center’s Pancreatic Task Force.


“We are not just coming here to play a stupid hockey game.  Let’s save lives if we can.”


By staking for hockey’s past, they’re working toward a brighter future.

Hockey, done old-school

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