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posted: 1/14/2014 4:45 PM

Lake in the Hills hockey tourney on Wood Creek Lake threatened by thaw

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  • The weather was too warm the past two years, but the inaugural Lake in the Hills Outdoor Pond Hockey Tournament was a success in 2011.

      The weather was too warm the past two years, but the inaugural Lake in the Hills Outdoor Pond Hockey Tournament was a success in 2011.
    Daily Herald file photo

  • At the first Lake In The Hills pond hockey tourney, public works employees drilled a hole in Woods Creek Lake and pumped water on top of the ice to create two smooth ice rinks.

      At the first Lake In The Hills pond hockey tourney, public works employees drilled a hole in Woods Creek Lake and pumped water on top of the ice to create two smooth ice rinks.
    Daily Herald file photo

 
 

The recent thaw may hamper Lake in the Hills' annual ice hockey tournament planned for Saturday on Woods Creek Lake.

Organizers of the 2014 Outdoor Pond Hockey Tournament are hopeful, but still monitoring temperatures and ice thickness before a final decision is made on Friday.

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The village's first such tournament was held successfully in 2011. But warm temperatures have forced officials to cancel the event the past two years.

"We still have our required 8 inches of ice," Trevor Bosack, recreation supervisor with the village parks and recreation department, said Tuesday. "I think it's about 9 inches. It was hard to tell yesterday because the top layer was so slushy because of the thaw. We are not going to take another measurement until tomorrow."

If Saturday's tournament is canceled, the make up date is set for Feb. 1.

But that's no guarantee of success; it was still too warm to play on the make up dates the past two years.

Fifteen area teams are registered to play Saturday.

Bosack said there aren't many pond hockey tournaments in the suburban area so the event is popular.

"We have a couple of teams coming from Chicago," he said. "I think the hard part is, in this area, it fluctuates so much with the weather."

Officials will take several measurements at different points on the lake -- at 228 Indian Trail -- to ensure the ice is thick enough. The four rinks are 75 feet by 150 feet.

"It's always hard to say, so that's why we're waiting until the last possible moment," Bosack said. "If it's good for Friday afternoon, it will be good for Saturday. Things look pretty good. It's cold today. Whatever kind of runoff we had yesterday, it seemed to freeze overnight."

Temperatures were expected to stay below freezing Tuesday night into Wednesday when a high of 16 is predicted.

Saturday's tournament is scheduled to run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bosack said there is still an opening for one more team. Teams are guaranteed two games and are limited to seven players, 18 years and older. Returning teams are given first priority. The entrance fee is $125 per team.

For more information, call the village parks and recreation department at (847) 960-7460 or visit the village's website, lith.org.

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