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Scenes from the pond hockey championships at Lake Nokomis

Scenes from the pond hockey championships at Lake Nokomis

The 7th annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships were held last weekend at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis. It’s the largest outdoor hockey event in the country, with over 270 teams and some 1,700 players participating.

Minnesota, the self-dubbed “State of Hockey,” turns out an estimated 30,000 spectators each year for the event. Spectators have a great time standing outdoors on a windswept Minneapolis lake watching grown men and women play like kids again.

The event symbolizes what Minnesota winters are all about.

All photos by Steve Date

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.

Players change clothes and prepare for games in warming house.

Aloha Minnesota.

Nathan Molenda pops a wheelie on his fat tire winter bike.

The “Crazy 88s.”

Bringing a little formality to the occasion.

Who says hockey uniforms can’t be fashionable?

“Minnesota Nightcaps” women’s team gets ready in the big tent.

Time out for a nap.

U.S. Pond Hockey Championships, 2012.

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