Each year in February, about 8,000 people come to the quiet village of Plaster Rock in New Brunswick, Canada for the World Pond Hockey Championship. For four days, 120 teams play hockey on frozen Roulston Lake in a round robin tournament. Some teams come with the hopes of winning the Goodwill Cup, but most come just to have fun and play hockey with friends.
This was the second year that Jeff took a team from Singapore to the WPHC. The tournament is something Jeff looks forward to all year long because he really loves playing pond hockey. It definitely must be something you do for the love of sport, because it was absolutely freezing the entire weekend. It made me happy to see Jeff enjoying himself out there on the pond, skating with his buddies and doing what he loves.
I bought my first pair of snow boots and my first real winter coat ever for the trip to New Brunswick. I've experienced really cold weather only a handful of times in my life and I just got back from living in Singapore; it goes without saying that I was pretty miserable in the snow. I don't think I've quite acclimated back to California's weather yet, so standing on a frozen pond all weekend was a new experience for me. I think I consumed a month's worth of hot chocolate in one weekend trying to warm myself up.
The trip to New Brunswick was an adventure itself. We flew from SFO to Boston, then flew from Boston to Presque Isle, Maine, where we rented cars and drove across the border to Grand Falls, NB. We stayed in Grand Falls because we couldn't find anywhere to stay in Plaster Rock. The village of Plaster Rock has a population of 1,221, so what little lodging they have books up quickly.
I am already hoping to come back next year because the WPHC weekend was so much fun, and the people of New Brunswick are some of the friendliest and most welcoming I've ever met. Oh, and because I love poutine.
By the way, Happy Hockey Weekend Across America!