The Adirondack Ice Bowl has become a tradition for hockey players far and wide. It began five years ago with just a few friends. This year, more than 200 people skated in the tournament. YNN's Cara Thomas shows us that some even traveled from other countries to see what the Ice Bowl was all about.
INLET, N.Y. — Hockey players have been preparing all winter for this year's Adirondack Ice Bowl.
But no matter how much practice they got at their home rinks, all that goes out the window when they get on 12 inches of all natural Adirondack ice.
"The best players don't always win out here. There's ice conditions, it can be bumpy, it can be cracky, it can be wet, but you make it work and you figure out a way to get that puck in that tiny little net," said Jim O'Brien, the Ice Bowl's executive director.
Hockey teams have come from across the country to participate. One has even come from Mexico.
"We're from Puebla Mexico, it's a town like 100 kilometers from Mexico City," says hockey player Franco Canedo.
This is the first time these warm-blooded hockey players have made the trek to Northern New York. They learned about the Ice Bowl from a former coach and figured they'd give it a try. But there were a few things about Adirondack hockey they weren't exactly ready for.
"We were thinking he was joking how cold it was but no it is really cold," says Canedo.
The rules and skills needed for outdoor hockey also threw them for a loop.
"The ice is very different, the cracks, you are tripping every time and it's four-on-four and there's no goalie... but it's fun, it's different but nice."
But the Talaveros weren't the only ones struggling, so some teams used the rough ice to their advantage.
"Out here it's like the surface of the moon, it's just craters everywhere, and again, our skill is low as it is, so actually maybe it helps us because we just played a really skilled team and it kept it close because they couldn't really skate that well," said Jeff Bucki, from Buffalo.
But no matter how rough the ice, or how far they traveled, hockey players say this event was worth it, and plan to come back again next year.