Hell Freeze hockey a hit once again
January 29, 2014
With another Hi-Line Hell Freeze adult hockey tournament in the books, the Havre Ice Dome saw plenty of good hockey and good times by players and fans over the weekend.
The annual tournament, just four years in, is growing more and more successful. This year, the tournament brought in 12 total teams to make up two divisions. The Rec. Division was made up of Havre-Chris Herring, Havre-BNSF, Calgary TGOTS, Bozeman Flying Zams, Havre-Hi-Line Electric, Havre-Hanson, Lewistown Snowholes and Whitefish. The Speed Division was made up of the Havre River Rats, Great Falls, Maple Creek Wreckers and the Medicine Hat Roadkill.
The tournament started Thursday and was concluded Sunday afternoon with two teams skating away with the trophy. In the Rec Division it was the Calgary TGOTS knocking off Whitefish 8-1 in the championship. And in the Speed Division it was the Havre River Rats knocking off the Maple Creek Wreckers 4-1 in the championship.
Calgary finished the weekend with a 4-0 record and was made up completely of past players over the age of 50 years old.
The Havre River Rats finished the weekend with a 3-1 record, their only loss coming to Maple Creek 6-5 Saturday Morning. The River Rats also defeated Great Falls and Medicine Hate en route to lifting the trophy, and was made up by Havre residents and former Ice Hawks, many of which are still part of the coaching staff or are current referees to the local youth hockey organization.
The annual Hell Freeze tournament is a lot of fun for players and fans of hockey, but it is also a major fundraiser for the Havre Youth Hockey Association. And one team in particular continues to give back to the HYHA after decades of being heavily involved already.
The Havre-Hanson team, playing in the Rec. League was more the Hanson/McLain family team. The roster was built up of players that were all related in one way or another, and the families have been a huge factor in the HYHA for nearly 30 years. Whether it was growing up playing youth hockey, coaching hockey, running the association, or the startup of the hockey pro shop, their contributions and efforts have been key. More recently, the Hanson/McLain team has also been involved in the startup of the local Curling Association.