The recent sub-freezing temperatures may have put a chill on many outdoor events, but has organizers of the Nautical Mile Pond Hockey Winter Classic warming up plans for a weekend of games, activities and civic pride in St. Clair Shores.
Organizers decided Thursday to move forward with the outdoor hockey tournament after temperatures recently dropped enough to cause the canals next to Brownie's on the Lake to freeze. Additionally, the seven-day forecast includes nighttime temperatures dropping below freezing.
"We are a go," said Shawn Nicholson, vice-president of the St. Clair Shores Hockey Association and one of the organizers of the event. "I am a lot more confident now than I was two weeks ago."
The inaugural tournament had been planned for this past January, but unseasonably warm temperatures and a lack of ice led to the cancellation of the event.
Even with the cancellation last year, there has been strong interest in the event this year with 44 of the planned 48 teams already registered for the Jan. 25-27 tournament.
Each team, which is comprised of players 21-years-old and older, will have at least three games - with some being played under lights set-up on the ice - with semi-finals and championships on Sunday.
"I think it is going to be an event that brings the community together," said Greg Esler, parks and recreation director. "We want to make sure the hockey players, and their families feel special, and find St. Clair Shores a great place to live and maybe buy a house down the road."
For more information about the tournament, visit the Pond Hockey website.
Volunteers are also needed. For more information, visit the volunteers needed page.