Right: CSD Editor John Lofstock pushes the puck up the ice against the Boston Danglers.
If you freeze it, they will come, and that was certainly the case for the CSD/Wilsons Fuel Ice Dawgs. Convenience Store Decisions‘ Editor John Lofstock teamed with Bill McMackin and Sterling Tozer of Wilsons Fuel Co., and Jean-Guy Ferlatte, a telecommunications consultant with Bell Canada, to compete in the sixth annual World Pond Hockey Championships in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick.
The four-on-four tournament featured 120 teams from every Canadian province, 23 U.S. states, England, Ireland, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Egypt, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands. The event was sponsored by the likes of Irving Oil, Anheuser-Busch and Labatt Breweries.
“This has evolved into a special eventthat gives us an opportunity to come outand support the local community,” saidMcMackin, general manager of WilsonsFuel, who attended the event in support ofDeano’s Mid-Town Quik Way conveniencestore, a Wilsons franchisee and one of onlytwo convenience stores in Plaster Rock.Wilsons, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, operates 42 stores and distributes Esso fuels tonearly 300 more in Atlantic Canada.
Irving Oil, which operates the other convenience store in Plaster Rock, said it was proud to sponsor the event. “The [Plaster Rock] community goes through great efforts to put on such a world-class event and, being a key member of the community, we feel it is our responsibility to help in any way we can,” said Rob Wilson, the U.S. public affairs manager for the St. John, New Brunswick oil company.
Faced with a field of elite hockey players,the Ice Dawgs jumped out to a quick startdominating Lady Speedstick, a team of fourwomen from Ottawa, 19-11. Unfortunately,it was all downhill from there as the teamlost its next four games, including a 21-1heartbreaker to the eventual tournamentchampions, the Boston Danglers, a teamcomprised of former professional and juniorhockey league players.
“Naturally, I figured playing with threeCanadians would elevate my game and driveus to the finals,” Lofstock said. “That wasn’tthe case. Maybe the folks from Couche-Tardor Irving Oil will be available next year? Atleast we got a win against the women.”
Plaster Rock began the tournament in 2002 to raise money for a new hockey rink. Though the money is almost raised, the tournament will continue, organizers said. All the games are played on Roulston Lake in the heart of rural New Brunswick. With 20 rinks on the lake, 40 teams play simultaneously. Each team was guaranteed five games, meaning more than 300 games were played between Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. Boston defeated the MTV 2-Headed Dogs from New York City 10-8 to capture their fourth consecutive title.
“In the beginning, this event was coordinated to be an asset for the Village ofPlaster Rock, as it turns out it is PlasterRock’s gift to hockey players,” said Tozer,area manager for Wilsons Fuel. “For fourdays, I was a kid again. Raulston Lake is afrozen fountain of youth.”
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harperdropped the puck to kick off the tournament, which also included former NationalHockey League (NHL) stars like BrianSkrudland. Skrudland spent 15 years inthe NHL winning two Stanley Cups, one withthe Montreal Canadians and another withthe Dallas Stars. He is currently working insales for an oil company in Calgary.