Name of the Tournament: Lakeside Lodge Pond Hockey Tournament
Location of the Tournament: Island Park, Idaho
What time of the year? First or second weekend of February. TBD 2023
What ages are welcomed to play? 18+ adult, men and women
What's the size of the tournament? Open division, 16 teams maximum.
How long has it been running? 2023 will be the fourth annual tournament
Any special entertainment? Lakeside Lodge sits on the shore of Island Park Reservoir. The Lodge has a full service restaurant and bar and has bands play on Friday and Saturday nights of the tournament.
What are accommodations like nearby (hotels, Airbnb, etc.)? Lakeside Lodge has motel rooms and cabin rentals. If Lakeside is full there are several other lodging options in the area.
What makes this one unique? What sets it apart? It's the first hockey played in Island Park, Idaho; which is a major snowmobiling destination. The region around Island Park has many hockey playing towns such as: Idaho Falls, Victor, Sun Valley, Salmon and Boise, Idaho; Butte, Bozeman, Helena, Missoula and Billings, Montana; and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. So from the start it hasn't been hard to get enough teams to hold a great tournament. It's also unique because the "pond" is a man made pond and we play 3 on 3. The original idea was to have the tournament on Island Park Reservoir, which is frozen solid in winter. However, Lakeside Lodge does not own the reservoir, the Bureau of Reclamation does. So the liability, insurance, permit concerns killed that idea. When it seemed like we'd never get this idea off the ground the Lakeside Lodge owner, Blaine Miller, came up with the idea to build a rink on Lakeside property. It worked! The first year was a real learning curve with building ice and maintaining it, but by the second year the rink was really great. Every year we're making incremental improvements like expanding the size, adding night lighting, improving the players bench, and bringing in a heated trailer for the players to use as a locker room to change.
Third Assist's Take: We often bite our tongue when it comes to Field of Dreams references, but there's not a spotlight we've done yet where it's more fitting than the Lakeside Lodge Pond Hockey Tournament: If you build it they will come. We're a fan of these more local tournaments, with most participants drawing from nearby in Idaho and Montana, because they bring the community together. Lakeside Lodge has been going strong for three years now and improving with each one, so this tournament is well worth the visit before the word really gets out!