Mother Nature's lack of cooperation in providing a consistent, cold winter has once again forced organizers to cancel the Nautical Mile Pond Hockey Winter Classic.
Just two weeks ago organizers were optimistic the three-day event could be held on the canals next to Brownie's on the Lake in St. Clair Shores.
But the near-record temperatures this past weekend, and heavy rains, caused the nearly three-inches of ice in the canal to melt away. Instead of a sheet of ice, now open water can be found in the area where the rinks were to be located.
"It is with great disappointment that we met this morning and reluctantly have
opted to forgo this year’s pond hockey tournament," Gina Rheaume, St. Clair Shores Parks and Recreation sports manager wrote in an email. "This morning prior to the meeting, there was more open waters then frozen water at Brownie's on the Lake, and based on the future 10-day weather forecast with day temperatures of 33-44 degrees, we cannot guarantee safe ice for the event."
Organizers will monitor the canals for the remainder of winter and rethink the feasibility of the event in 2014, she added.
While the pond hockey tournament is canceled, several other events are to continue on as planned, including:
- The International Silver Stick Tournament will be held at Civic Arena from Jan. 25-27. There is free admission to the tournament.
- Roy O'Brien Ford will hold a "Shoot & Score" night from 5-8 p.m. Jan. 24 in the showroom with refreshments and prizes.
- The Nautical Mile Chili Cook-off will be held from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 25 at the Blossom Heath Inn.
"The idea has created a lot of excitement for the Nautical Mile, St. Clair Shores, and hockey fans but Mother Nature has not cooperated," Shawn Nicholson,
St. Clair Shores Pond Hockey Committee Member wrote in an email. "All teams will be refunded their registration fee."We will plan on attempting again next year and will announce a date and an alternate date from the beginning."
Last year organizers unsuccessfully tried twice in 2012 to hold the tournament, but ultimately had to cancel it due to the lack of ice. This year's event was scheduled for Jan. 25-27.