Pond hockey has been a favorite winter activity for many hearty New Englanders since 1883, when the first hockey game ever played in the United States happened on the ponds at St. Paul’s school right in Concord. This weekend the pond hockey tradition continued at the 4th annual Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship at White Park in Concord.
From the website, New Hampshire Legends of Hockey:
The history [of hockey in New Hampshire] is vast and began November 17, 1883, when on the lower pond at St. Paul's School in Concord, the first organized game in the United States was played by St. Paul's students.
Twenty years later, in 1903, a youngster named Hobey Baker arrived at St. Paul's School from Pennsylvania and by 1909, when he graduated, he had written his own historical chapter, not only in the state but internationally, too. Baker was an outstanding skater and fashioned a reputation for high sportsmanship.
The history shows that three communities - Berlin, Concord, Manchester - were central to the early development of the sport in the state. In the 1910, amateur hockey began in Berlin with the organization of mill teams. Additionally, numerous other communities had teams for short periods of time.
If you missed this year's tournament at White Park, fear not, there's another opportunity this weekend to check out pond hockey in New England.
- The New England Pond Hockey Classic in Meredith, NH on Lake Winnipesaukee runs from Friday January 31st to February 2nd.
Here's a video from the organizers of The New England Pond Hockey classic to help get you psyched up for a weekend of great pond hockey.
For a complete listing of pond hockey action in the Northeast, check out this website.