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2008 Results

Barrie Theta TTS Bruins Hoist the Maple Cup for Second Consecutive Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Barrie Theta TTS Bruins Hoist the Maple Cup for Second Consecutive Year in World's Largest Pond Hockey Event

•    Culhane brothers pitted against each other in men’s final
•    Fierce rivalry in men’s semi-final
•    Thousands of everyday competitors show true spirit of Canada’s game

Huntsville, Ontario, January 27 -- The Theta TTS Bruins from Barrie and Ice Angels from Hamilton are the best shiny teams in Canada according to the outcome of the Source for Sports Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships.  The men’s and women’s open champions staked claim to their hand carved maple cups by rising above 148 competitive adult teams from across Canada and abroad. Presented at Deerhurst Resort in Ontario’s Muskoka, the event is the largest pond hockey event contested since the advent of the game.

The Bruins dominated play in the men’s final this Sunday afternoon, beating the Pond Hawks of North Bay 15-6. This unique championship match had the Culhane brothers, each a captain on their respective teams, pitted against each other. Kevin and Ryan Culhane and teammates battled it out on Sunset Bay to earn bragging rights at the next family get-together.
   
At half-time, up 10-1, captain Kevin Culhane, instructed his players “not to let up.” While the score was one sided, both teams put on a show of fast skating and precision passing non-stop over the 30-minute game.

In the men’s semi-finals, the Barrie Theta TTS Bruins met long-time rivals the Rink Rake Grey Beards from Markham. It was an intense match that went down to the wire. With two minutes remaining the teams were tied 6-6.  Ultimately, the Bruins came out on top, scoring the winning goal with one minute left. The men semi-finalists have a lot of history, having faced off in the finals of the 2007 and 2006 Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships.

In the Women’s Open Final the Ice Angels of Hamilton rallied to a 15-11 victory over the Wade Belaks from Toronto.  It was a closely matched game, until the Ice Angels widened the spread mid-way through the second half. Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Wade Belak sponsored the defeated team.  “We worked hard and we’re super friends,” said Ice Angles Captain, Sherri Beckerson. The Ice Angels have played together on and off for the past ten years.

 

Two-time Canadian National Pond Hockey Women's Open Champions, the Rink Rake Wrinkles from Audreuil-Dorion, were defeated early in Sunday’s eliminations.

More than 600 games – the equivalent of almost one-half of the regular NHL season, were contested over the weekend at Deerhurst Resort.  Pulling off the feat required a six acre section of Sunset Bay to be converted into 24 natural ice rinks.  Tons of snow had to be removed in the weeks leading to the contest.

Hundreds of volunteers from Muskoka gave of their time to help present a first class weekend for the 1,500 participating players who converged on the facility, some vying  for Canada’s highest pond hockey honor, and many others just there for the experience of it all, and to play with long time pals.  

“They come to play hard and compete, but ultimately they are here for the experience,” said Neil Lumsden, Executive Director of the Championships.

All of the victors names will be engraved onto the unique Maple Cups hand carved out of a Canadian maple tree fittingly harvested just off a pond somewhere in Ontario’s North.

Says Neil Lumsden, “The Cups have a permanent home in the Hockey Hall of Fame, testimony to hockey’s grass-roots and the desire for everyday players to keep the game in perspective.”


Barrie Theta TTS Bruins

Ken Pagan, age 33, North Bay, Ontario
Kevin Culhane, age 34, Churchill, Ontario
Jeff “Chip” Oestreicher , age 34, Walkerton, Ontario
Paul Myerscough, age 32, Barrie, Ontario
Lincoln Dolbear, age 31, Barrie, Ontario

Women’s Open Champions Roster
Ice Angels

Sherri Beckerson, age 23, Hamilton
Ashley Moore, age 24, Hamilton
Michelle Gallant, age 25, Hamilton
Lindsay Maksymchuk, 22, Brantford
Meghan Weedon, age 25, Hamilton

Over the three days of play, action was fast paced, with four players a side and no goalies. The nets used in official pond hockey are six feet by only 10 inches high.  The rules are minimal – no slap shots, no sticks over the knee and no goal tending.  Referees officiate from the side-line. The caliber of play was extremely competitive with several teams bolstered by former college, MTHL players and Hobie Baker runner-ups. But such was no guarantee of glory. In various match-ups, regular house league caliber teams brought their top notch skills out of the closet taking down seemingly more credentialed teams.  

"It's about men and women playing for their love of the game," says Paul LaVigne, Director of Marketing, Source For Sports, the championships' title sponsor. "As Canada's largest hockey focused retailer, we're thrilled to be involved. It reaches out to the grass roots of hockey."

Players converged on Huntsville from all across Canada, 13 states, Japan and New Zealand.  They logged hundreds of thousands of kilometers in the pilgrimage to Deerhurst Resort.
 
Another 150 games will be contested next weekend, February 1-3 in the Masters and Recreational Divisions. The championships has also expanded to include a western regionals slated for February 21-24 in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Participation in the championships has almost tripled in size since its origin just three years ago.

–30–

The 3rd annual Source For Sports Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships will be contested January 25-27, 2008 in Huntsville, Ontario, followed by  the Masters Pond Hockey Championships Feb 1-3.   More than 288 teams and close to 1,500 players will participate.   The title sponsor of the Canadian National Pond Hockey Championships is Source For Sports.  Yamaha Motor-Canada and Castle Building Centres are the presenting sponsors.  Deerhurst Resort is the Host Venue.   

The 1st annual Source For Sports Canadian National Pond Hockey Western Regionals is slated for, February 21-24, 2008 in Winnipeg, Manitoba. An estimated 100 teams will participate. Yamaha Motor Canada, Castle Building Centres, Levelwear and Can-D Systems are the presenting sponsors. The Fairmont Winnipeg is the Host Venue. The official Canadian Pond Hockey web site is www.canadapondhockey.ca.

For high res image downloads click here

For more information or to arrange interviews contact:
Gary Holloway, 905-905-336-0568, ext. 243, gary@canadapondhockey.ca
Cellular 905.638.4226
Neil Lumsden, 905-905-336-0568, ext 293, neil@canadapondhockey.ca

Championship Headquarters:3375 North Service Road, Suite A12-A15 Burlington, ON  L7N 3G2 Email info@canadapondhockey.ca 1- 905-336-0568

Anne White, Director of Public Relations, Deerhurst Resort, 1-416-566-9297

Men's Champs Photo Caption --  Top: Paul Myerscough and Jeff Oestreicher; Bottom: Lincoln Dolbear, Kevin Culhane, Ken Pagan

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