By: Mark Allred | Follow Me On Twitter @BlackAndGold277
About a year ago I was contacted by Casey Cummins, a listener of our Black N Gold Hockey Podcast about the possibility of taking the show on the road to cover the 3rd annual Crimson King Outdoor Hockey Tournament held in Leicester, Massachusetts. After all the planning and a bit of forgiveness from mother nature, we made the 1.5-hour trip to record episode 115 and participate in the festivities on the homemade outdoor sheet of ice on Saturday, January 26th.
The inception of the ice surface dates back to 2013 with the construction of the new rink after attempts to create ice on a tennis court on the property owned by gracious hosts Jeff and Karen Bercume went unsuccessful. Rink manager Jeff told me that a new location was to be needed to keep the dream alive and had a part of the property leveled off via bulldozer in the efforts of constructing a bigger more sustainable ice surface. With the new rink also came the idea of a warming shack/locker room complete with two wood stoves and the comforts of the Boston Bruins and players of the past hanging from the rafters. A better image of what I’m talking about can be seen in a video posted on Twitter from tournament organizer Casey Cummins below.
— Casey C. (@CoachCaseyC6) January 12, 2019
Upon our arrival, we were amazed by the many activities that happen on the property year round. To the left of the property is a replica of Fenway Park for warmer weather wiffleball events but what caught our attention was that gorgeous sheet of ice that was being prepped for the outdoor games. While the ice was being attended to I set up the mobile studio the on-location recording of episode 115 in the warming shack which we broadcasted with awesome tournament participants and can be heard below.
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The Crimson King Outddor Hockey Tournament
As any games should begin, it was an unreal act of kindness to kick off the tournament with the singing of both the American and Canadian national anthems sung by Judy White who did a fantastic job.
The seven-team invitational tournament kicked off at 11am and to be honest I was really excited about this opportunity because this was my first time playing on a homemade rink after spending a majority of my life on the ponds and indoor facilities. To keep all teams involved a double elimination rule was set in place, and even though my Black N’ Gold Podcast team which consisted of teammates Cody Trottier and Ride The Pine Radio Podcast Co-Host Paul lost both games we appeared in, we had a great time nonetheless. There was certainly no lack of competition in these games as the battles on the ice throughout the day were intense and very competitive.
I along with everyone that participated in the festivities on this day have to give a huge shoutout to the amazing efforts from the two goaltenders of this tournament who frankly stood on their heads and played in all games. Below is a photo of the awesome netminders Pat Collins and Nick Hayden who honestly stole the show and want to show our sincere appreciation for their unbelievable play.
In all tournament play there has to be a victor, and on this day Team USA came out on top. Congrats to all members of Team USA on the Championship win and I know that next year’s event will have many teams gunning to take away their crown.
I want to take the opportunity to thank Casey for the invite to do a show recording on location and participate in the tremendous outdoor hockey tournament. I also want to thank Jeff and Karen Bercume for their unbelievable hospitality and the efforts of Tim Cummins and Casey’s wife Laura Cummins for setting everything up and providing the food and snacks needed for a bunch of beer drinking hockey players. Truly a Class Act from all that were involved and hope to make our way back next year for the fourth annual games.
Below are pictures and video of the event to give a better idea of how this day went, Enjoy!