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Pond Hockey Classic kicks off tonight

Pat Dalbec, a member of the Anchor Bar/Belknap team, works the puck up ice during last year’s Great Lake Pond Hockey Classic at Barker’s Island. Anchor Bar/Belknap will be back in action when this year’s event begins tonight and runs through Sunday. (Jed Carlson / jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

There will be 44 hockey teams competing in various divisions in the 14th annual Great Lakes Pond Hockey Classic, which begins tonight and runs through Sunday on Barker’s Island.

Twenty of the teams are entered in the Open Division; six teams are in the Rink Rat Division; 16 mite and mini-mite teams will be in action from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; and the Superior Police Department and Superior Fire Department will play for the second straight year at 7 p.m. today.

Open Division

Among the returning teams in the Open Division are Bud Light and Anchor Bar/Belknap Bar, who played in the last two championship games.

Bud Light had won five straight classic titles until getting knocked off by Anchor Bar/Belknap 31-30 in the 2016 title game when the event was moved to the Superior Ice Arena because of warm weather.

Bud Light got back at the Anchor/Belknap with a 15-14 win in last year’s title game.

Members of last year’s Bud Light/Dugout Lounge team were Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley, Alex Doig, Rheese Carlson and Ross Carlson.

The Anchor Bar roster included Kellen McCoshen, Tim Smith, Pat Dalbec, Dane Morin, David Dalbec and Chris Sislo.

Open Division pool play begins at 6 p.m. today runs through Saturday.

Sunday’s action begins with the quarterfinals at 10:30 a.m. and ends with the championship game at 1:30 p.m.

Rink Rat Division

Six teams will be competing in the new Rink Rat Division, a less competitive division for those with less hockey experience.

Vying for the Rink Rat crown will be 3rd Base/Choo Choo, Ice Holes, Wounded Warrior Red, FCA Hockey, Isle O’Dreams and Wounded Warrior Black.

Pool play begins at 7 p.m. today and runs all day Saturday.

The championship game is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday.

Great Lakes Ice Festival

This was the second year the pond hockey tournament will be part of the Great Lakes Ice Festival.

The weekend begins with the second annual Guns & Hoses game between the Superior Police Department and the Superior Fire Department at 7 p.m. today. The Police won last year’s game 19-15.

The ice festival includes hot chocolate and s’mores, roaming ice princesses, a 250-foot snow slide, ice sculptures, hay bale shuttles and a craft fair on Sunday at Barker’s Island Inn.

There are two racing events planned Saturday.

The Midwest Ice Racing Association event will take place near the  Whaleback Meteor, while the Lake Superior Ice Racing Association event will take place on Allouez Bay, which can be accessed at 44th Ave East.

New this year, Sterling Silver Studio performs a fire-twirling show 3-5 p.m. Saturday, followed by the Duluth Figure Skating Club 7-7:30 p.m. and fireworks at 7:30 p.m.

There will also be live music by The Axholes and Crescent Moon.

Free transportation to the event is provided by the Superior Business Improvement District Trolley today and Saturday. The trolley will make a constant loop between the festival, Vintage Italian Pizza at 1201 Tower Ave. and Belknap Plaza, 130 Belknap St.

Hay bale shuttles will provide transportation around the festival grounds.

14th annual Pond Hockey Classic

Open Division

POOL A — Wet Bandits, KQ Pond Scum, Young Guns, PBR, Super One Foods.

POOL B — Channel 4 News, Coneheads, Sammy’s Pizza, Freaky Fast, Jagr Bombs.

POOL C — Twin Ports Ins., Anchor Bar/Belknap, Gopher Rejects, Champions Lounge, Jamar

POOL D — Bud Light, Lakes Gas Co., High Stick Hoodlums, Game Misconducts, Coordinated Business

Rink Rat Division

POOL B — 3rd Base/Choo Choo, Ice Holes, Wounded Warrior Red.

POOL B — FCA Hockey, Isle O’ Dreams, Wounded Warrior Black.

Past Champions

Open Division

2017 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley, Alex Doig, Rheese Carlson, Ross Carlson)

2016 — Anchor Bar/Belknap Lounge (Chris Bishop, Pat Dalbec, Kellen McCoshen, Dane Morin, Tom Paine, Tim Smith)

2015 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Dustin Cosgrove, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley, Derek Miller, Kyle Nosan)

2014 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Dustin Cosgrove, Eric Dahlberg, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley, Kyle Nosan)

2013 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Eric Dahlberg, Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley)

2012 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Rheese Carlson, Eric Dahlberg, Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Dustin LaValley)

2011 — Bud Light/Dugout Lounge (Kyle Nosan, Kevin Kuklinski, Eric Bausano, Dustin LaValley, Eric Dahlberg)

2010 — Dodgie’s/Need a Fifth (Chad Matushak, Tim Nelson, Clayton Weiby, Kelly Stephens, Chris Sislo)

2009 — Heavy Metal Hockey (Steve Rodberg, Ryan Vieau, Rheese Carlson, Ben Johnson, Tony Scherber)

2008 — Lucky’s/Shenannigan’s (Ryan O’Neill, Dan Krenn, Dave Coleman, Andy Klapperick)

2007 — Armadillos (Jeremy Enders, Jamie Dowson, Ryan Johnson, Ryan Sustawenko)

2006 — Gopher Rejects (Justin Johnson, Chris Green, Brian Delwiche, Matt Hupila)

2005 — Need a Fifth (Tim Nelson, Chad Matushak, Jay Matushak, Kelly Stephens)

Senior Division

2013 — Too Old & Cold (Ryan Schold, Terry Schold, Travis Schold, Gary Kucharyski, Ken Mertz)

2010 — Too Old & Cold (Terry Schold, Travis Schold, Gary Kucharyski, Pete Hanson)

2007 — MHL Fab Four (Rick Eisenmann, Ken Mertz, Gary Kucharyski, Steve Sorenson, Mike Susens)

2009 — Rusty Five (Gary Gilbertson, Joel Heikes, Dane Youngblom, Russ Williams, Mike Hinaus)

2008 — Too Old & Cold (Terry Schold, Travis Schold, Greg Kaake, Pete Hanson)

Women’s Division

2009 — Don Leigh’s Ladies (Jill Thompson, Terri Fair, Stephanie Keup, Erica VanDamme, DeeDee Kolanczyk)

Big Pond Bonspiel

(curling)

2015 — A Event: Seitz (Superior); B Event: King (La Crosse); C Event: Button Up (Duluth)

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