This past weekend I spent quite a bit of time down at the RiverWorks complex watching pond hockey teams go head to head in heated bouts. RiverWorks turned out to be the perfect setting for just such an event, as there were plenty of places for the players to gather with their equipment – at times it was almost reminiscent of a large airport, with people gathered around piles of bags, waiting for their flight to take off.
The Labatt Pond Hockey event was the first time that visitors got a full blown look at the various dynamics of the site. The bars were activated, and so was the stage (DJ, muralist Dave Arrigo and Strictly Hip). Buffalo Pedal Tours was set up with the pub crawler, which was a big hit with guests who wanted to perch themselves on bike seats while sharing a beer with operator Ken Szal and his son, Phil.
The mix of indoor and outdoor amenities was perfect. After watching a game of hockey, fans could then head indoors to warm up in style. The hockey complex surprisingly buffered enough of the wind to make the outdoor viewing experience very pleasant.
The pure size of RiverWorks was even on the over-accommodating side – the enormous space never let on as to how many people were actually inside at any given time. Even without the second floor open (coming soon) there was plenty of room to spread out without being walk to wall people.
“In true Western New York fashion, everyone came down to watch hockey and drink beer. It didn’t matter that it was 16 degrees out,” said Lisa Texido, brand manager, Labatt Blue. “We want to thank all the players, spectators, and Buffalo Riverworks staff for a great pond hockey weekend. We look forward to making next year’s event even better.”
For those looking for the pond hockey results, division winners include:
- Over 21 Recreational Division: Jack FM Ringers
- Over 21 Novice Division: Brrrffalo Brigade
- Over 30 Novice Division: Timberwolves
- Over 40 Novice Division: Crickett
- Over 21 Intermediate Blue Light Division: Gorski’s Team JDE
- Women’s Division: Hawks-Wolcott
- Over 21 Intermediate Blue: Potter’s Field
- Over 21 Open: Beaver Squeezers
- Over 30 Open: LODA
- Over 40 Open: Polar Bears
- Over 21 Advanced: Team Server
- Elite: Tioga Tavern
Photo 1: Buffalo Police face-off against Buffalo Fire in a featured tournament exhibition game, with Police taking the win, 23-19, over Fire.
Photo 2: The Jack FM Ringers won their division – Over 21 Recreational.
Next up at RiverWork is the Madd Tiki Winter Luau, scheduled to take place on Saturday, February 28, from 2pm-10pm (see here).