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Pond hockey comes to Madison

By Emily Kumlien, ekumlien@wisctv.com
Published On: Jan 15 2014 05:24:20 PM CST
Updated On: Jan 15 2014 08:03:48 PM CST
Madison, WIS. -

A new event is coming to Madison the last weekend in January.

It involves old school outdoor hockey, family fun and is all for a good cause as the Madison hockey community is taking the right against cancer to the ice.

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," said Ben Cowan, the tournament's organizer.

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 your skates, it's a different sound," said Brad Mastenbrook, a high school hockey coach in Middleton that will participate in the tournament.

Much to the delight of hockey lovers, outdoor hockey is coming to Madison Jan. 24-26. The Capitol City will host the first annual Mad City Pond Hockey Championships. "I can't believe how fast and cool everything is coming together," said Cowan.

Over 40 teams have signed up and there's room for more. There will be six rinks set up at the Vilas Park Lagoon. There are different divisions, it's 4-on-4 with no goalies and shorter nets.

"It's open to any age and any skill level if you want to play hockey. Contact us and we will help you play hockey," said Cowan.

Cowan said there have been pond hockey tournaments up 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," said Cowan.

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, first they are hockey players and second it is for a good cause.

"I think everyone has to pick a charity and pick a cause they are passionate about," said Cowan.

The wife of Cowan's high school hockey coach, Becky Tempel,  passed away of pancreatic cancer.  This event is free but there will be a carnival tent at the tournament and all the proceeds will go towards the UW Carbone Cancer Center's Pancreatic Task Force.

"We are not just coming here to play a stupid hockey game lets save lives if we can," said Cowan.

So by staking for hockey's past, they will be working towards a brighter future.

The tournament is Friday January 24th thru Sunday January 26th at the Vilas Park Lagoon (near the Henry Vilas Zoo).

There will be heated tents with food and games that benefits the UW Carbone Cancer Center.

For more information visit the Mad City Pond Hockey's website.

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