When it comes to the Walleye Chop adult hockey tournament, the staff at the Schwan Super Rink doesn’t back away from a little playful boasting.
“We’re the biggest adult hockey tournament in Minnesota,” says Pete Carlson, Operations and Program Director at the Schwan Super Rink. “So why not claim that we’re the ‘Stanley Cup of Adult Hockey?’”
Carlson knows it’s all in good fun. And that’s what has made this tournament so successful – the fun factor.
The Walleye Chop name is a tribute to the fact that the tournament is held annually on the same weekend as the Minnesota walleye fishing opener.
This year, a full tournament of teams – 124 – will compete in 15 different divisions for men and women. Teams will represent seven different states and Canadian provinces: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Texas and Ontario. Skill levels will run the gamut, from divisions for players with minimal experience, up to the men’s A Division, featuring past and current collegiate players. The games will fill all eight sheets of ice at the Schwan Super Rink.
And the fun spills out beyond the ice as well. There is a fish fry from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday. Also on Saturday, teams will tailgate in the parking lot.
On Sunday, the mood turns more serious, with Walleye Chop titles up for grabs. Championship games will run back-to-back all afternoon. At stake? Bragging rights of course, and the unique Walleye Chop crossed hockey sticks trophy.