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Backyard Classic at Canalside looking for more teams, volunteers

The annual pond hockey tournament is coming up on February 4 & 5 at Canalside.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Calling all hockey players! The 14th Backyard Classic pond hockey tournament is just a few weeks away, and organizers are looking for more participants and volunteers.

The outdoor games will be held Saturday, February 4, and Sunday, February 5 at Canalside in downtown Buffalo. Games will be played between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. on both days. 

The public skating rink will be transformed into multiple hockey rinks. There are full-size nets and goalies, unlike other pond hockey games which use smaller nets. 

As the name suggests, the tournament got its start in a backyard in East Amherst. In the first year, players raised a few hundred dollars for Hasek's Heroes. Since then, the fundraising has grown to tens of thousands of dollars. This year, proceeds will benefit Oishei Children's Hospital.

"Everybody loves hockey, and everybody loves the Sabres. But most of all, we love our kids, so what better thing to do than come down and join a great event and support Oishei Children's Hospital when our kids absolutely need it the most," said tournament director Chris Taggart. "We keep looking to push the envelope on being a great supporter of Oishei Children's Hospital. Our goal is to put on a great event, well-organized event, that everyone can enjoy and have fun. A family-friendly tournament."

There are both kids and an adult division.

The youth 6U-14U boys & girls teams allow for between five and nine players, including a goalie. The cost is $750 per team.

The Under 30 adult competitive and recreational (16 and over) teams are between four and six players. It's $600/team to register.

Click here for tournament information or to register to play or volunteer.


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