Over the weekend, the Pine Riders threw on our skates and competed in the Buffalo Labatt Blue Pond Hockey tournament. The outcome . . . was absolutely less than stellar.

Yes . . . we gave up 87 goals. The Pine Riders went 0-3 on the weekend...

We got absolutely annihilated. To say we were perhaps rated higher-than our actual skill level would be a generous statement. We should have probably been seeded in the Novice bracket for sure. Although the first game was in reach, round two was an absolute blow out. By round three, we shifted strategies dramatically, focusing on crushing more beers than the other team prior to the game. We were certainly successful at that.

All-in-all though, it was still a good experience. We had a very supportive cheering section of friends come out to witness us getting obliterated, but they were nice about it! I also got a sweet new tuke out of it too... so i'll chalk it up to a win.

We did learn a few things about that tournament format. First and foremost, having someone willing to "play goalie", aka sit in front of the net and soak pucks to the foot the whole game, is apparently a very effective strategy. Our normal pond hockey league does not allow players to stand in front of the net, while this tournament seemed to encourage it. Not fun on the feet, but a strategy we will need to use next year if we want to compete more. Also, the speed of the game is pretty intense. Because the games are short, only 26 minutes total on ice time, it is fast, furious, and aggressive on a small rink. I don't think we were prepared for that when we first hit the ice. Lastly, we should have started drinking earlier, because the games were way more fun the more we drank.

Overall though, it was a great event, and pretty well run. It was a great experience, and hopefully next year we can do better!