By all accounts, the Winter Classic ball-hockey tournament, held on January 22, was an unbridled success.
The inaugural event — organized by the Management Student Association (MSA) and sponsored by UBC Aboriginal Programs & Services (APS) — attracted 15 co-ed student teams from diverse backgrounds and hockey skill levels.
“Since this was the first annual event, there was a lot more work than we had initially planned, but everything came together and all the players had a good time. I was impressed by the attitude of all the participants and we’re hearing a lot of positive feedback about the Winter Classic. We hope to be bringing it back in 2012,” said student organizer Jon Baron of the Management Student Association.
APS work study student Steve Mussell volunteered to referee some of the games.
“I was very impressed with the sportsmanship and maturity shown by all players involved. There were no cheap-shots taken, and all teams shook hands and congratulated one another following their games,” said the former junior hockey player.
The format of the tournament leaned towards participation as at least one female player had to be on the court at all times. In the final, the Woodsmen disposed of Where Mama Keeps the Peanut Butter 14-4.
“It was fun. I’ve never played hockey before and I’m glad the weather cleared up,” said Melissa Clarkson of the Woodsmen.
Since the majority of the Woodsmen play beer league ice hockey together, they held a slight advantage over the competition. Where Mama Keeps the Peanut Butter truly embraced the co-ed aspect of the tourney as half their team was made up of female players.
“It was hard when the sun was in your eyes,” said Peanut Butter goalie Gabrielle Descoteaux. “But it was a lot of fun and there were a lot of good teams out there.”
All squads were provided with access to goalie gear, hot chocolate, sports drinks and cookies. The winning squad picked up collector ‘champ’ t-shirts and a $50 gift card to Boston Pizza.