Lake Nokomis' U.S. Pond Hockey Championships

People & Places Elliot deBruyn · ·

1 Hundreds of players from all over the country prepare for the first games of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship on January 21, 2011. The games this year will also feature a beer garden and boot hockey games. 
2 St. Louis Park resident Chas Simcox prepares for the first game against the Northstars. Team Cali-Sota is comprised of members from Los Angeles, California; Redondo Beach, California; and Minnesota. 
3 Lake Nokomis hosts the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. This year, conditions were ideal for pond hockey; last year, the championship was halted before the final Sunday because of rain. 
4 Redondo Beach, California resident Jason Withee warms up before the team's first match against the Northstars. With temperatures reaching nearly 20 below zero and biting winds, Withee doesn't need to worry about the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships getting canceled like it was last year. 
5 Team Cali-Sota meets before their match against the Northstars. The green and yellow jerseys across the rink appeared serious in meditation, while the Cali-Sotas joked about the reason they left California for the negative-degree Minnesota cold. 
6 After a few minutes of the short pond-rules hockey game, Team Cali-Sota fell behind 10-2. "They're faster than me, and stronger than me," Nate "Low Expectations" Jenkins said off the rink. "And better than me." 
7 Nate "Low Expectations" Jenkins rests during a rough match with the Northstars. Although the game took a downward turn for the Los Angeles resident, he and the rest of the team maintained a humorous attitude. 
8 Jason "High Hopes" Withee takes the puck down-rink for what would prove to be one of only nine goals. "Season's running a little rough," Withee said. 
9 On Lake Nokomis for the first day of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championship, temperatures reached nearly 20 below zero, with winds making it even colder. "I'm from California and even I know that this is crazy," Withee said after his loss against the Northstars. 
10 Jason "High Hopes" Withee scores team Cali-Sota's fifth goal from half-rink on Lake Nokomis. Although the Northstars were far ahead and temperatures were still low, spirits were high as the team celebrated the goal. 
11 Nate "Low Expectations" Jenkins of Los Angeles laughs at the discrepancy between the Northstar's score and his own team's. "This is just ridiculous," Jenkins said. "They're shooting from the red line and still making it in." 
12 Ronnie "The Darkness" Edwards scores Team Cali-Sota's sixth goal in their match. The team picked up momentum against the green-and-yellows at the end of the game, but it wasn't enough to secure a win on the first day of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships. 
13 Jason "High Hopes" Withee, with snow caking his 70's-style moustache, admits defeat against the Northstars, 23-9. "It was something to learn from, I guess," Withee said. "And they're trying to rep the Northstars, yeah right!" 
14 Team Cali-Sota reconvenes after their loss against the Northstars. "We've got high hopes and low expectations," Withee said. They had one more match scheduled for 12:30 on Friday, and although the weather was warmer in California, they said they couldn't skate like this in the Sunshine State.