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Pond hockey tournament raises money for youth sports organizations

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OGDENSBURG — Seeing children outside playing pond hockey was the nostalgic vision Michael B. Fennessy had for the St. Lawrence River Pond Hockey Classic tournament that took place over the weekend as part of the Ogdensburg River Shiver festival.

The weather, however, didn’t cooperate.

Last week’s thaw left the ice rinks that organizers built at the Ogdensburg City Marina too soft and dangerous to skate on, so the tournament was held in the Golden Dome at Ogdensburg Free Academy.

“We’ve been kind of fighting Mother Nature here,” Mr. Fennessy, one of the organizers, said Sunday. “We went down to the ice this morning and we were going to try to play there, but there was a big pressure ridge and we don’t want anybody getting hurt.”

Mr. Fennessy and City Councilor William D. Hosmer, a fellow organizer, wanted the event to rekindle a passion for pond hockey in the area.

“We want to get kids back outside playing pond hockey like we did when we were kids,” Mr. Fennessy said. “Unfortunately, due to weather, we couldn’t play outside, but we’re still playing a pond-hockey style game.”

Mr. Fennessy said the goal was to raise money for several different youth sporting organizations in the area, including minor hockey.

Along with the $100 entry fee per team for the tournament, businesses have donated to the cause, Mr. Fennessy said.

“It’s really to bring people to Ogdensburg and showcase the river and raise money for the kids,” Mr. Hosmer said. “Despite the weather, it’s been a success.”

Mr. Hosmer said more than 30 children played hockey Sunday, but before they took the ice, they watched their own fathers and coaches play in the tournament.

“They’re not only playing, but watching from another standpoint of adults still enjoying the sport,” Heather A. McDonald said about her children’s experience Sunday.

Seven-year-old Ty A. Jacobs, Lisbon, lay down on his stomach as his mother, Sarah R., buckled up his goalie pads for children’s ice time Sunday.

“It’s their dads and coaches and uncles out there, and it’s really great for them to see that,” Mrs. Jacobs said.

Kelly L. Jackson, Ogdensburg, said she and her 8-year-old son, Merick D., were excited about the event.

“It’s a little disappointing that it didn’t happen out on the river, but it’s something that my boys would be interested in doing again,” she said.


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