The 9th annual Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic
Spring Lake Park
North Mankato, Minnesota
In the State of Hockey, taking it outdoors and playing on a frozen lake is the ultimate grass roots experience that needs to be included in your hockey schedule this year. The AF99 Pond Hockey Classic is an annual tradition that will create memories of a lifetime. Spring Lake Park sits just below the bluff in beautiful lower North Mankato providing a wonderful setting for pond hockey.
The Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic took place with near perfect conditions on Saturday, January 28, 2017 (Adult play) and Sunday, January 29, 2017 (Youth play). After a fresh coating of snow and ideal temperatures, conditions were perfect for pond hockey! 12 NiceRinks on a great pond that is sheltered from the wind.
This is not a USA Hockey or Minnesota Hockey sanctioned event.
The event is free to the public and includes viewing from the pier, a sledding hill for kids, hospitality area serving food and refreshments including beer and wine, warming houses and plenty of parking. Teams of all levels are welcome.
Enter off Hwy. 169 at Webster Ave.(by Best Western) Follow Webster Ave. Take a left at Sherman St., 1block then Right on McKinley. Parking is also available off Webster Ave.
Click on "DIVISIONS" tab or the link above for more information before registering
Adult Team: $300
Discounted price if Pre-registered by 12/31/16 = $270
• 6 player maximum per team
• 3 on 3 play
• 3 game guarantee
• 12 NiceRinks
• No goalies, modified nets
Youth Team: $180
Discounted price if Pre-Registered by 12/31/16 = $150
• 8 players maximum per team
• 4 on 4 play
• 3 game guarantee
• 12 NiceRinks
• No goalies, modified nets
• $500 Rink Sponsors receive $100 discount on team fee.
• No Refund for weather related issues. You may receive credit for next year.
At the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic, we promote a fun and competitive day at the rink. After your manager registers your team, check out the warming houses and hospitality shelter. We will be serving food and refreshments including beer & wine.
In pick-up hockey fashion, there are written and unwritten rules. We expect the players to decide the right way to play the game. Please be prepared to engage in a positive display of honesty and integrity.
Divisional play is an important part of a great game day experience. We will do our best to provide divisions for all ages and skill levels. 4 team minimum and 12 team maximum for each Division. For more information, click on Divisions tab.
Game officials will be provided. Their priorities, in order, will be 1. keep score 2. start/stop game 3. keep an eye out for fair/unfair play. The expectation is ultimately for the players to respect and adhere to the rules of the game. For more information click on the Pond Hockey Rules tab.
Although weather ultimately dictates conditions, we feel our lake provides exceptional pond hockey rinks. We have 12 rinks with the latest professional NiceRink boards. Our small pond is sheltered and it freezes fast with less cracks. We will be flooding prior to both events and will do our best to have good ice.
Thank You for participating. What a great way to support a worthy cause!
We want to hear from you. Your comments and suggestions will help us improve your game day experience. Click the link below to make a comment. All reasonable suggestions will be considered.
After a week of unseasonably warm weather, Spring Lake held up great. Colder temperatures came along with a fresh coating of snow to make perfect conditions for the 9th annual AF99 outdoor pond hockey classic at Spring Lake Park in North Mankato, MN.
On Saturday January 28, 2017 we featured 5 Divisions of Adult men and women. The weather was overcast with highs in the upper 20's and a NW wind that was mostly blocked by the bluff. Ice conditions were the best they've ever been. Competition was fierce and friendly and a good time was had by all but one.
On Sunday, the sun came out as the Youth took over the pond and it turned into a great hockey day. We had divisions for Mini-Mite, Mite, Squirt, PeeWee and Bantam aged players. With cold overnight temperatures, we were able to flood and ice conditions remained the best we ever had.
For a great game day experience, we feature 12 NiceRink's on a sheltered lake near the city center of the Mankato/North Mankato area. Our small lake has proven to have less cracks and freezes fast.
Many made it a hockey weekend and were able to watch the Minnesota State Mavericks as they took on Lake Superior State in WCHA action at the Verizon Wireless Center. Friday night had the Mavericks winning 4-2 and Saturday was an exciting come from behind double overtime winner for the Mavs!
Proceeds from the event support Therapeutic Advances in Childhood Leukemia and help keep hockey affordable in our area.
Thank you to all the volunteers and participants for creating 2 great days of outdoor hockey and for supporting a wonderful cause!
The 2018 Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic will be our 10th annual event and we are excited to begin planning for another great year. Dates for next year's event will be posted in the Spring.
Just around the bend of the Minnesota River Valley, Spring Lake Park in beautiful lower North Mankato, plays host to the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic. The downtown location has proven to be perfect for pond hockey. The park is nestled along the bluff which shelters the lake from wind, making the coldest winter day seem more like a great day for a skate in the park.
The park features a small lake, sledding hill, outdoor rinks, ample parking, hospitality area, warming shelters, restrooms & fishing pier for viewing.
Spring Lake Park also has close proximity to hotels, bars & restaurants. The Verizon Wireless Center, which is just across the river, is the home of Maverick hockey where you can catch Minnesota State in WCHA action.
As part of our mission to help keep hockey affordable in our area, the Anthony Ford Fund pledged $50,000 towards the Outdoor Rink Improvement Plan at Spring Lake Park In North Mankato. The Mankato Area Foundation has since pledged another $50,000 to help us reach our goal for the project.
Since moving the Pond Hockey Classic from Lake Washington to Spring Lake Park in 2015, AF99 and the City of North Mankato have been partnering to make improvements to the park. In the summer of 2017, we will complete a project that will bring 2 new outdoor rinks with concrete surface for easier maintenance and additional opportunities for year-round use. Warming House improvements with concessions are also part of the plan.
With the shortage of indoor ice and the lack of warming houses in our area, we feel this project is important to help create affordable opportunities to skate and play hockey. This will be a high quality outdoor destination that will help grow the hockey culture in our area.
Thank You to the City of North Mankato, the Mankato Area Foundation, The Glen A. Taylor Foundation, and everyone who has supported the Anthony Ford Fund through the years. We hope to see you at the rink!
The Anthony Ford Fund Committee members would like to put out a special thank you to the City of North Mankato and their staff and the Business on Belgrade Group for their assistance and cooperation in making our move to Spring Lake Park seamless. We are excited about the new venue and the possibilities it brings for bigger and better events to come.