TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) – The annual Toledo Winter Chill Hockey Festival will be held this weekend at the Ottawa Park Ice Rink.
Organizers said the festival is the way hockey is meant to be played: outside on a cold winter night.
The festival will attract 100 teams from a 5-state area. Players range in age from seven to 18 years old, and there are no winners or losers.
"This is a festival. They come in for one game. We don't give trophies or awards, we just make sure everybody has a smile on their face," said festival organizer David Austin.
They will be playing ‘old-style hockey,' a throwback to the days of playing on frozen ponds or homemade backyard rinks.
Parents say it makes kids appreciate the sport by getting them away from indoor arenas.
"You've got to deal with the elements," said Gerald Bagett. "The wind blowing, stuff gets on the ice from the trees. [It's a] lot colder than the rink."
There are no complaints from the kids, either. They love the weather and the competition.
"Because it's winter and winter is the best time to play outside on an ice rink," said player Ben Pouiot.
Hockey is a rock 'em, sock 'em sport, but these are players who know how to keep their cool.
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