CREEDE—A chilly breeze, a warm bonfire, and an afternoon cocktail make the Creede Pond Hockey tournament one of the most loved winter events in town. Called “The Golden Pick,” it is sponsored by Tommyknocker and Kip’s Grill for Creede Athletics and will be held on Jan. 19 and 20.
The event began with two business owners from the Creede area wanting to have some friendly fun among residents during the slow winter months and has now turned into one of the largest pond hockey tournaments in southwestern Colorado. Tommyknocker Tavern and Kip’s Grill came together with a few people at the beginning and allowed it to grow into a full-on hockey event that spices up the chilly, slow winter months in town.
Updated facilities include a warming hut, and (NEW) zamboni shed constructed by Carhartt and Jason Mamoa’s Pride of Gypsies in February 2015.
In the years since, the ponds above town have gone from mere recreational ponds to becoming a designated city park, suitably named for Creede’s unique mining history as Silver Ice Park. The City of Creede adopted the ponds, during a series of meetings in 2015 and helped with funding that purchased several lights that now line the outer edges of the ponds to allow for late night skating.
The ponds are lined with burn barrels to keep players warm and bleachers for cheering fans to come and enjoy the friendly hockey fun. The ponds are located at 8,900 feet elevation which adds an additional challenge to the tournament and its players.
The views surrounding the rinks add an incentive to those who travel from all over the southwestern US to take part in the hockey tournament. Players from all walks of life travel to Creede just to enjoy the laid-back fun tournament that caters to all levels of experience.
The tournament consists of two levels of competition and is set up in a way that ensures each participating team gets to play at least one playoff game by the end. The schedule is known to hockey enthusiasts as a round robin format with a three-on-three team play.
For more information, visit www.creedepondhockey.wordpress.com.