Tuesday July 22, 2014


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Charlie Lake in pond hockey board game

Submitted photo

The High on Ice Festival's 1st Annual Crystal Cup Pond Hockey Challenge on Charlie Lake was noticed by the creators of a board game last June when Charlie Lake was "put on the board" of the Pond Hockey-opoly 2nd Edition board game.

Have you ever wanted to own the deed to Charlie Lake?

Well now you can thanks to the second edition of the board game Pond Hockey-opoly introduced last June by Outset Media.

Originally introduced back in 2007, the older edition of the board game focused on the culture and memories of pond hockey, including Walter Gretzky’s backyard rink, the Sutter family rink and some of Canada’s biggest outdoor hockey tournaments.

For the 2012 edition, Canadian account manager for Outset Media, Iain Lang, decided to shake things up a bit.

“This time I decided to focus on pond hockey tournaments across the country as opposed to backyard rinks and ponds,” Lang said from Cobble Hill on Vancouver Island. “There are many of these tournaments across Canada and the U.S. and they all take a lot of work and organization.”

“Many of them are also held in smaller communities and are often organized for a particular charity… so I wanted to recognize as many of these communities and tournaments as I could.”

In January 2012 the City of Fort St. John hosted the three-day long 1st Annual Crystal Cup Pond Hockey Challenge on Charlie Lake as part of the High On Ice Festival. Ten ice surfaces were created on the ice measuring 140 by 70 feet with two “rinks” available for the general public while 30 teams played games made up of two 15-minute periods.

When Lang was doing his research for the new edition of Pond Hockey-opoly, the event caught his eye.

“The name of the tournament really caught me, and considering that it was a smaller community working hard to host their first ever pond hockey tournament, I just felt that they were deserving of the recognition,” Lang explained.

“Now when pond hockey enthusiasts across Canada and the U.S. play this game, they will all know where Fort St. John is and where they can sign up to play in the High On Ice pond hockey tournament.”

Creator of the Crystal Cup, Neil Evans, said the game was brought to his attention last week when a friend of his was shopping in Edmonton, picked up the game and saw Charlie Lake on there. After emailing Outset Media to confirm that it was the Crystal Cup, Evans said he was really excited.

“I was blown away to tell you the truth,” Evans said on Tuesday. “One year in and we’re on a board game that’s being sold in Canada and the U.S. That’s pretty cool.”

The orange property square for Charlie Lake is located beside the Penalty Box (the “jail” feature on regular Monopoly games). On the back of the property deed, or card, it reads:

“Located just off of the Alaska Highway, teams in the 2012 1st Annual High on Ice Pond Hockey Tournament competed for the soon-to-be-coveted Crystal Cup.”

The original edition of Pond Hockey-opoly sold 10,000 games and if the second edition is as successful as the first, many hockey and board game lovers across North America will know about Charlie Lake and the Crystal Cup Pond Hockey Challenge.

“It’s sold North America wide, so hopefully it will attract more attention from the U.S.,” Evans said, who’s currently finalizing plans for the 2013 Crystal Cup.



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