Updated: Saturday, 07 Feb 2009, 8:04 PM EST
Published : Saturday, 07 Feb 2009, 7:46 PM EST
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Hundreds of people were out in the cold on Buffalo's waterfront.
Some wanted to relive their childhood, while others took to the ice to compete.
It's been called the coolest game on Earth.
More than 200 players hit the ice Saturday, but eventually ran into some slush at the second annual LaBatt USA pond hockey tournament at the Erie Basin Marina.
You could really feel the difference from the first to the second game. It really is like a pond out there. We started having concerns about people getting hurt," said hockey player Cindy Shelton.
There's no safety issues. We have all the depth we need. We just want to give the players the best playing experience possible," said Dave Grohusko of Labatt USA.
Temperatures in the 40's caused sluggish and sloppy play on the slushy pond. But no one is complaining.
Grohusko said, "there's a link to getting back to one's youth whether you were playing on a pond or in your backyard."
64 teams competed in 8 divisions. It's 4-on-4 hockey on Buffalo's pond. The tournament attracted quite a crowd on what the warmest day of the year.
Craig Muni, former Buffalo Sabres Defenseman, said, "As a kid growing up, you would play where ever you could find ice. Whether it was outdoors or indoors. Just remember playing on outdoor rinks and ponds. So where ever you could find ice and this is just bringing back some of the memories."
It just proves that Buffalo is a hockey town. No matter if it's the Sabres or a bunch of guys just out having fun. Buffalo is a hockey town," said hockey player Paul Campise.
The event's winners:
Women's: Advantage Attackers
Recreational Tier II: Rink Rats
Recreational Tier I: Crickett
Intermediate Tier II: Buffalo Old Boys
Intermediate Tier I: P11
Advanced Tier II: Mustangs
Advanced Tier I: Valore Books