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Photos/Video: Montana Pond Hockey Classic
Foys Lake

The pucks officially dropped as nearly 400 players converged on Foys Lake for the inaugural Montana Pond Hockey Classic this weekend near Kalispell. Playing through winter flurries and bursts of sunlight, 51 teams from across the U.S. and Canada enjoyed the rugged origins of hockey, atop natural ice. Organizers cleared off the snow in preparation and flooded water atop the thick ice covering Foys Lake. Sheets of ice were marked off and made into rinks with short sidewalls and miniature goalie nets. Teams of four squared off in different divisions and vied for the coveted Monty Cup, a wooden sculpture crafted by renowned wood carver Jeff Fleming. The Monty Cup will be awarded to tournament winners and their names will be carved into its base where they will remain for all eternity.

The Hilton Garden Inn is hosting "Hockey Night in Montana" on Saturday from 6-10 p.m. The event will feature food, drinks, entertainment, a skills competition and a silent auction to benefit youth hockey in the Flathead Valley. The Stanley Cup will not be in attendance as previously planned, organizers announced. The event will now be free but donations will be accepted.

The championship matches are Sunday. After each team has played four pool play games, the top teams of each pool will advance to their divisions single elimination tournament. Click here for a complete schedule.

Click here for more information about the Montana Pond Hockey Classic.

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