Scandia’s annual winter celebration, Vinterfest, is introducing a new tradition as it kicks off Vinterfest this weekend: the Scanley Cup adult hockey tournament.
The Scandia-Marine Lions Club and Roberts Family Funeral Home have joined forces to sponsor the Scanley Cup, beginning at 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, and concluding at 10 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 1.
Twelve teams are now entered to partake in the inaugural tournament, with squads traveling from Forest Lake, Hugo and Minneapolis to compete at the Leonard Wojtowski skating park in Scandia.
Corey Roberts of Roberts Family Funeral Home said a draw for participants to the Scanley Cup is the style of play. Unlike many outdoor hockey tournaments around the state, the Scanley Cup is formatted like a true hockey game with goalies. Pond hockey doesn’t allow for goalies.
“The fact that it’s not pond hockey really appealed to a lot of the skaters,” Roberts said. “It doesn’t sound that much different, but it really is a different kind of game, and will be unique in this area.”
Roberts, who helped bring outdoor hockey to Forest Lake’s Flake Fest in past years, said he and his brothers look forward to holding the tournament earlier in the winter in the town they grew up in.
“We tried putting together a tournament at Flake Fest in February, but by the time it rolls around, the weather isn’t ideal to maintain the right ice conditions for outdoor hockey,” Roberts said. “We wanted to improve the tournament, and since we grew up in Scandia and attended school from kindergarten to fourth grade at the elementary, it always has a special place in our hearts.”
Another way the Roberts are making the Scanley Cup memorable is a custom-ordered trophy. Each year the winning team will keep the trophy for a month before returning it to the sponsors to engrave the winning squad’s team name on the trophy’s plate.
Registration for the tournament is $250 per team, with each squad guaranteed a minimum of three games.
There will also be a hospitality tent provided by the Scandia-Marine Lions Club, along with music, food, beverages, a bonfire and a slap shot contest, which is open to everyone. Proceeds from the tournament will go toward the Leonard Wojtowski skating park.
“This is something you do just once a year, but it’s nice for adults to escape the hustle and bustle, step back into their childhood and go out on the ice and just play,” Roberts said. “There’s nothing like that feeling of shooting the puck around with your buddies.”