Pond hockey tournament raising money to fight cancer

Organizers honoring coach's late wife
Pond hockey tournament raising money to fight cancer


Though the bitter cold and bone-chilling winds are miserable for most, this weekend several hundred hockey players wouldn’t have it any other way.

The Mad City Pond Hockey Tournament is being held in frigid temperatures on the ice at the Vilas Park Lagoon.

57 teams are competing in the three-day tournament that will end on Sunday.

While the tournament takes hockey back to its outdoor roots, participants are lacing up for a bigger reason. The proceeds from the tournament are being donated to the UW Carbone Cancer Center.

The organizers of the pond hockey event chose pancreatic cancer as the charity to support to honor Gene Tempel, a longtime Madison hockey coach who lost his wife Becky to the disease.

“It is so hard when you’re so close, 42 years with that lady, the sweetest lady I’ve ever met in my life,” said Tempel.

“To give back for that and have an extra meaning behind it for the research, it goes a little bit deeper than just getting out with the boys and playing a little puck,” said Joel Marshall, Verona High School hockey coach and pond hockey tournament participant.

The organizers of the pond hockey tournament hope to make the event an annual occurrence. Their goal is to raise $1,000 in donations from this year’s event and grow the tournament in future years.