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Player and staff safety top priority for annual pond hockey tournament

The Maine Pond Hockey Classic is one of the largest fundraisers benefitting the Alfond Youth and Community Center

WATERVILLE, Maine — When organizing the annual Maine Pond Hockey Classic, the weather is always expected to challenge their plans, but this year COVID-19 safety restrictions will be in place.

The tournament is one of the Alfond Youth and Community Center's largest fundraisers, pulling in more than $65,000 during the weekend event. This year it may be different, not as many teams allowed to play, fewer rinks, and a more spread out schedule to reduce the number of skaters on the pond at a time.

For organizer Patrick Guerette, the Chief Operating Officer at the AYCC, the tournament is played on a typically windy pond in Sidney, which gives them hope the puck will drop in February.

"The biggest thing is all the committee members, our organization, the sponsors, what we want to do is make sure we are a part of an event that is put together safely, that we are taking the precautions seriously," said Guerette. "No one wants to be a part of a super spreader event in any capacity.”

Registration is now open and 35 teams have signed up.

Guerette says there will be refund options for travel restrictions or other coronavirus related concerns.

The Maine Pond Hockey Classic takes place on the weekend of February 12-14.

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