Dec 31, 2012 7:42 PM by Dan Cimmino - KPAX Sports
SEELEY LAKE - During the long winter months many small Montana towns are often hit an economic lull, but thanks to two local business owners in Seeley Lake, this upcoming weekend looks to deliver quite the numbers with some pond hockey.
The lake is frozen anyway, so why not make use of the ice and create an annual tournament? The idea came from Tom Monaghan and Mike Lindemer, who created the Seeley Lake Pond Hockey event three years ago.
The tournament has enjoyed steady growth over the first two years, and last January 120 players took part, generating an estimated economic impact of $35,000 to $40,000.
Registration for this year's event has been booked for months, with 180 participants set to take to the rink giving the town of Seeley Lake a nice winter boost.
"You know, at the end of the day we're here to bring business to Seeley Lake, and to bring hockey to Seeley Lake is a great way to do two things at once, Monaghan explained.
"We're really trying to make sure that this is the premier pond hockey event for Northwest Montana. This is where hockey started, on the lake. We anticipate that year over year that if we continue to do things right, to do things well, it's going to continue to grow," he predicted.
The puck will drop this Saturday, and the action will last all night long thanks to 18,000 watts of light raining down on the lake, with the Seeley Cup being handed out to the champion on Sunday afternoon.
Click here to learn more about the tournament.