Saturday, January 9, 2010

Labatt Blue Vermont Pond Hockey Regionals at Okemo

The temperatures were right today for the Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Regionals. Okemo's Ice House at Jackson Gore saw lots of action and some games that even went into overtime. The competition was fierce.

Enjoy a few shots:

Monday, January 4, 2010

Ross Powers Superpipe is open for the season

It's a pretty big accomplishment ro get a 450-foot superpipe open this early in the season - especially when you consider how much effort has been going into snowmaking and grooming on the other 118 trails at this time of year. It certainly shows Okemo's commitment to terrain variety.

Of course we had a little encouragement from Okemo's number one halfpipe enthusiast - Ross Powers. The winner of Olympic bronze and gold in halfpipe, Ross has his sights set on something a little different this year. He's now competing in snowboardcross and trying to claim a spot on the U.S.A.'s Olympic SBX team. He did really well at the World Cup Finals in Telluride and now he's headed to Europe and then Canada for three more weekends of qualifying oppportunities. He made the podium in Telluride (third), so let's hope he can do it again in the weeks ahead.

In the meantime, 18-foot walls and decks spaced 50 feet apart are calling. As an added bonus - and at Ross' recommendation - Okemo's ops team increased the pitch on the big pipe. With a 16 percent grade, it means "it's faster and riders will get bigger air," says Ross. He adds, "the pipe is showing some potential."

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Okemo soon to be Hockey Town USA for a day

Labatt USA, importer of Labatt Blue beer, already announced that the third-annual Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament sold out in 24 hours. But teams of all skill levels still hoping to play in the two-day, regional event can do so by competing in the exclusive Vermont Pond Hockey Regionals on Jan. 9, 2010 at the Okemo Mountain Resort.

The first Vermont Pond Hockey Regional Tournament promises a four-on-four tournament with a minimum of two games. Divisional winners get an automatic bid to play on the icy surface of Lake Erie at the Erie Basin Marina in Buffalo on Saturday, Feb. 27 and Sunday, Feb. 28, 2010 at the Labatt Blue Buffalo Pond Hockey Tournament.

To enter a team in the Labatt Blue Vermont Pond Hockey Regionals, and for a list of rules, please go to Registration has been extended until Jan. 5, 2010. There is a registration fee of $150 and players must present proof of age.

Okemo makes a Christmas wish assist

When Okemo Mountain Resort’s Ski + Ride School Assistant Director Rob Bevier learned about a young boy’s Christmas dream to snowboard at Okemo with his Iraq-deployed dad, Bevier leaped into action to make it happen.

On Christmas Eve, posted this story about an 8-year-old Palmer, Mass., boy whose only wish for Christmas was that his dad, Army National Guard Spec. Michael J. Hawk, make it home from Iraq for the holidays.

Although the plan was for the elder Hawk to surprise his son at school a couple of days before Christmas, a delayed flight moved the surprise to young Devan’s swim team holiday party – where Michael arrived, still in military uniform.

In the article, Reporter Lori Stabile wrote, “The happiness on Devan's face was still evident two days after his father returned home, as they talked about their plans for the next two weeks, which include a trip to Toys R Us and snowboarding, possibly at Okemo in Vermont.”

That was all Rob Bevier needed to know to put the wheels in motion. A few days later, Devan and his dad were learning to snowboard together courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort. Okemo’s Tyler Longland and Gordon Robbins, a living legend in the world of snowboard instruction, had Devan and his dad sliding, stopping and making turns in no time. When asked how he liked snowboarding, Devan replied, “I love it!”