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Feb 6, 2016 6:40 PM

Day 2 of New England Pond Hockey Classic a success on Lake Waukewan

MEREDITH - The 7th annual New England Pond hockey tournament continues to be a success after more than a thousand people participated on Saturday at Lake Waukewan.

The Pond Hockey Classic brought more than 1,800 players and over 260 teams to Lake Waukewan, right in the heart of the Lakes Region.

"I'm from Meredith and I'm very involved with what happens from an economic standpoint so one of the favorite things for me is the fact that all of these people come in to Meredith for a weekend, spend a lot of money, and have a lot of fun," Chris Kelly, a player who has participated in the event since 2009, said.

This year is only the second time the tournament had been moved to Lake Waukewan, all due to the lack of ice in Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee where the event usually takes place.

"I actually didn't think that the pond hockey classic was going to happen with all of the inclement weather that's been going on," local Brian Keith said.

Yet, conditions seemed to be just right for the players on Saturday. And the weather remained in the high 40s with the sun shining down on the rinks.

"I figured that by the time we got here with all the snow that we got last night, the rain that we got on Wednesday and the warm temperatures, I thought that it was going to be a lot different and a lot rougher to play, but the conditions are fantastic," Kelly said.

The event which started on Friday, runs through Sunday afternoon where the final teams compete for the Winnepehockey Cup.

"It's a lot harder, it's a little bit less of a game of skill and more strategy and moving the puck around the rink. I think it's the great equalizer between regular hockey and pond hockey," Joe Groves, a player who traveled to Meredith all the way from Virginia, said.

Thousands of onlookers from across the country and Canada, embraced the winter weather, all to enjoy the festive atmosphere of music, food and of course, the classic game of hockey.

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