ST. AGATHA, Maine — Despite the rainy weather Saturday, the first Acadian Pond Hockey Classic on March 16-17 drew scores of competitors and fans in support of minor hockey programs for youths in the area on both sides of the border.
Dean Collins, chairman of the Acadian Pond Hockey Classic Committee, created the event for local hockey players and spectators to gather and enjoy watching 3-manned teams compete.
While Sunday’s matches were played on Long Lake just offshore of the St. Agatha town office, Saturday’s rain forced organizers to move the competition to the indoor rink at the Madawaska Multi Purpose Building.
“While the weather wasn’t on our side … everyone made the best of it, and at the end of the day, this is what is really is all about,” said Ryan D. Pelletier, one of the Acadian Pond Hockey Classic Committee members.
Between the two days, Collins said there were about 200 people each day that went to enjoy the games to benefit a youth hockey organization.
“The proceeds will go to minor hockey, a youth hockey program, on both sides of the border,” Collins said.
One of the players of the Spud Men Team, Cody Theriault, began playing in college just a few years ago for a club team.
“I would tell the younger kids to play, just do it,” he said. “It is a great sport and is a lot of fun to be part of.”
Jessome’s Sports of Edmundston took first place in the tournament and the $500 prize, while the Presque Isle Pond Cats came in second and Edmundston Kia third.
A few other organizations were present as vendors, including members of the Valley Mustangs Football Team who cooked up and sold food from inside a heated concession tent.
The event also featured a side competition where contestants tried to shoot a puck into a small hole from across the designated rink area for a chance to win $500. Doug Levesque of Fort Kent won the puck shoot on Saturday, and Kamden Daigle of St. Agatha won it Sunday. Myra Saucier of Frenchville was the lucky raffle winner of 100 gallons of heating fuel donated by Dead River Co; and Cheryl Cyr of St. David took home the 50/50 cash prize of $191.
“It brings community together and helps the local community,” Collins said. “It’s an added outdoor sport and shows a lot of comradery.”