Hockey, socializing and fishing-related games give this annual tournament its unique vibe
Blaine, Minn. (May 14, 2018) – The 14th annual Walleye Chop adult hockey tournament wrapped up three days of play on Sunday, May 13 by crowning 15 new champions at the Schwan Super Rink on the National Sports Center campus in Blaine.
This year, a full tournament of teams – 122 – competed in 15 different divisions for men and women. Teams represented nine different states and Canadian provinces: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Ontario and Saskatchewan. Skill levels ran the gamut, from divisions for players with minimal experience, up to the Men’s and Women’s A Division, featuring past and current collegiate players. The Women’s A Division even featured four players from the gold medal-winning USA Olympic Team. Dani Cameranesi and Lee Stecklein played for the championship Puck Beauties team. And Kelly Pannik and Sidney Morin played for the runner-up team, The Goonies.
For most of the teams, however, the fun activities rival the hockey as the big draw. There was a fish fry, a King of the Blacktop tailgating competition (with SotaStick.com Enforcers, Moosemen, and Highlanders teaming up to win the prize) and the BBQ on the Blacktop, featuring the Big Green Egg. Smoked ribs were prepared by the BBQ experts from Poolside.
The King of the Blacktop tailgating competition filled the free time between games.
The popularity of Walleye Chop, which is always held on the Minnesota walleye fishing opening weekend, proves that not all hockey players fish. But fish, and fishing, are a constant theme throughout the tournament. Divisions were named after fish species, such as the Muskie or Northern Pike Divisions. And championship teams were presented with mini-canoe trophies.
The sponsors of Walleye Chop 2018 were Poolside, Hormel, Big Green Egg, and Coors Light.
Here are the 2018 Walleye Chop champions:
Bowfin (Women’s A): Puck Beauties, Twin Cities.
Bluegill (Women’s B Upper): Regretskys, Chippewa Falls, Wis.
Salmon (Women’s B Lower): Hinote’s Heroes, Twin Cities.
Sunfish (Women’s C Upper): Spice on Ice, Twin Cities.
Sturgeon (Women’s C Lower): Warriors, Twin Cities.
Muskie Division (Men’s A): Palm CRE, Twin Cities.
Northern Pike Division (Men’s B): Scoregasms, Collegeville, Minn.
Bass Division (Men’s C Upper): NoDak Crioux, Grand Forks, N.D.
Bullhead (Men’s C Mid): Fans of Bacon.
Catfish Division (Men’s C Lower): Point Beer Classics, Stevens Point, Wis.
Whitefish Division (Men’s D Upper): Team Poland, Duluth, Minn.
Steelhead Division (Men’s D Mid): Fireside Pizza, Twin Cities.
Eelpout Division (Men’s D Lower): PHIL, Twin Cities.
Carp (Men’s Novice Upper): SotaStick.com Enforcers, Twin Cities.
Mooneye (Men’s Novice Lower): Sharks, Twin Cities.
Here is a photo gallery of the 2018 Walleye Chop champions:
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