The DC Pickers topped the Charlestown Chiefs in the championship game of the first Door County Pond Hockey Tournament Feb. 8 in Baileys Harbor. The tournament drew five teams to the rinks created by volunteers on Kangaroo Lake as part of Baileys Harbor's first Winter Carnivale.
The Pickers (Rick Chomeau, Steve Chomeau, Mark Basch, Zack Gillis, Freddie Bexell, and Mike Jaeckel) of Northern Door County defended their home ice in a hard-fought title game against the Chiefs of Milwaukee. The Pickers won 7 - 4 as both teams battled weary legs after a morning of skating.
"This was a great first year," said tournament founder Brian Fitzgerald. "To get the support of the community and all the volunteers who helped us clear the ice and make these rinks was unbelievable. The teams were thrilled, and we think this could be a big event in the years to come."
Fitzgerald's event company, the Peninsula Pacers, organized the event in a matter of weeks with the help of some dedicated hockey players, the Baileys Harbor Community Association, and some generous volunteers who helped clear and flood the rinks.
"With a little more advance publicity next year we could see 3 - 4 times as many teams, maybe more," Fitzgerald said. "We received a lot of calls and emails from teams who just couldn't make it on short notice, which allowed us to have a smooth first run this year."
Fans enjoyed beer from the Door County Brewing Company and food prepped by locals who know how to warm up the belly - a must when temperatures peaked at about 19 degrees.
The Baileys Harbor Community Association also hosted dirtbike and snowmobile races on the ice as a few hundred hearty soles braved winter's chill.