After a year hiatus, the Last Frontier Pond Hockey Classic is back in Big Lake. More than 100 hockey teams are coming to Big Lake March 18-20 for Alaska's largest outdoor hockey event. The event was originally scheduled for Feb. 25-27, but unseasonably warm weather in February left the ice unsafe, so organizers postponed it for a few weeks.
On the ice near Burkeshore Marina in Big Lake, 20 outdoor rinks will host 10 divisions of four-on-four hockey. The event is hosted by the Scotty Gomez Foundation, run by Alaska's famous ex-NHL star. The event is not just about hockey, however - there is a family skating rink, concerts and a food and beer garden available throughout the weekend.
The tournament was held in Anchorage on Goose Lake before the move to Big Lake in 2017, as it got bigger and bigger. On Friday, the kids take the ice in the tournament, and on Saturday and Sunday, women, men, open, novice, co-ed, elite and 49ers divisions take place. Friday night the popular band "Nothin' But Trouble" is performing, while on Saturday, fireworks will light up the evening sky and "The Stack" hosts a concert.
The event is a fund-raiser for the Scotty Gomez Foundation, which is dedicated to making hockey accessible to children across Alaska. The foundation has supplied countless teams with free gear, ice time, and sponsored leagues to make sure kids have a chance to learn to play. The deadline to register teams is February 15. For registration information, visit www.akpond.com.