Moose Lake kicks off 2023 Minnesotan style

Published: Jan. 1, 2023 at 7:44 PM CST
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MOOSE LAKE, MN. -- It was more than just hockey during Moose Lake’s first Small but Mitey Tournament - it was a weekend of nostalgia.

“Grandmas, grandpas, uncles, aunts, moms, dads have been saying “Hey I remember when I was a kid. This was all we ever used to do.” It’s kind of bringing that old school tradition back,” Tournament Coordinator, Andy Leino, said.

Rest assured, there was still plenty of hockey.

Three rinks, 19 teams, and more than 100 kids were ready to skate.

Organizers spent the last few weeks flooding, pumping water out of the lake, and using a Zamboni from their local rink to ready the ice on the lake.

“The way I look at it is that it brought it back down to the basics of hockey,” Maraya Leino, tournament coordinator, said. “Very simple pond hockey, and it has been really fun, and I believe the kids have really been enjoying it.”

One kid having a blast was Oliver Feick.

Feick excitedly showed off a new skating move he learned over the weekend called the “mohawk.”

When Feick wasn’t playing, he was messing around with his friends.

“It’s not about winning; it’s about having fun,” Oliver Feick, who played on the Piedmont team, said. “I like having fun.”

Feick, along with everyone who attended, ran over to Moose Lake Brewing Company who sponsored and hosted.

Grabbing food and hot chocolate before heading back outside.

“The brewery has been packed for the last two days so it’s just great for the community that all this business is being brought to them,” Andy Leino said.

By popular demand, the community is now looking to bring the tournament back next year.

“I’ve been nothing but smiles since yesterday seeing every kid has a smile on their face,” Andy Leino said. “It’s been great, and we hope to keep building on this every year and keep getting bigger and better every year.”