Tucked away in the heart of the Boreal Forest is one of Saskatchewan's premiere all-sesaon resorts. For the past seven years an annual pond hockey tournament is hosted at Elk Ridge Resort in their own backyard, just outside of Waskesiu in the Prince Albert National Park.
When I heard about it, I knew I had to go! For many Saskatchewanians, including myself, hockey runs through our viens. Cold temperatures and early snowfalls are surprisngly welcomed as soon as the leaves turn yeallow.
Growing up playing on the ponds out in the field or flooding my own backyard rink in the city - I couldn't wait to lace up my skates and 'Party on the Pond'!
Off and on the snow would fall, making it harder to skate and see the puck - but the snow added to the joy of playing outdoors!
It felt like a dream but I was awake. Playing shinny surrounded by the snow-capped trees and heavy flakes falling from the sky - I felt an incredible burst of excitement in a hockey player's paradise with Elk Ridge Lodge overlooking thirteen teams playing shinny in the snow.
At night, there was live entertainment for all to enjoy. Teams arriving at Walleyes Pub gathered around for the much anticipated one man guitar show that would bring everyone to their feet.
The "one man show" was actually one of the players who brings his guitar and high spirits every year to sing his famous songs to anyone who wants to listen. Most do, as this has turned into an annual tradition at Walleyes.
On the more professional side of entertainment, Jodi Peters - a great local Saskatchewan comedian - absolutely killed it on the mic leaving everyone crying with laughter. While local band, Brad Johner and the Johner Boys kept the dance floor rocking all through the night.
Elk Ridge "Party on the Pond" hockey tournament is the largest in Saskatchewan. I hope to play in it again next year!
Thanks for reading!