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Northwoods Spotlight - Pond Hockey ChampionshipsSubmitted: 02/12/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

Northwoods Spotlight - Pond Hockey Championships
EAGLE RIVER - More than 2,300 pond hockey players made their way to Dollar Lake - just outside
of Eagle River. The annual Pond Hockey Championships featured 336 teams playing
on 31 rinks.

"This is our ninth year playing in Eagle River," tournament manager Scott
Albrich of USA Hockey explains. "It's the best weather we've had."

Many teams were from the Northwoods. Including "Range Beverage" out of Hurley.
They finished second in the 30+ silver division. Cory and Ryan Moderson are
brothers on the team. Cory's family enjoys watching him play. 5-year old Devin
is watching dad play for the first time.


"Cool," Devin said. "I never saw him play before."

"This is his first time," Cory Moderson - Devin's dad adds. "He's probably
going to want to go out there after seeing dad play."

Cory's wife Mae says it's amaizing watching the change in her husband when he
steps on the ice.

"He's a completely different person," Mae explains. "Not the guys who is
sitting on the couch. He's out there like an animal or a teenager playing
hockey with his brother."

It's not just the men getting in on the fun. "Up Yours" is one of the 40
women's teams. They're from Houghton, MI. All of these players are older than 50.

"We can't take the down side of life," Shelley Farrey points out. "We figured
we've got to make the best of everyday. Last year we decided to form a team.
Played against kids we could have given birth to. It was tough. If they had a
38 and over division, we would be the only ones out there."

"Very exciting to see hockey being played in it's purest form," Albrich adds.
"Chance for players to go back to when they were kids. Going outside and just
playing."


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 IN OTHER NEWS

EAGLE RIVER - During the summer Northland Pines High School is being used as the home base for a foreign exchange program. 

The Northwoods Adventure Quest Program brings students from China and America together.

 Last year travel rules stopped the program from happening, but this year the students and organizers are more driven than ever to keep their mission going. 

"You get to form relationships with people from around the world," said 10- year- old Chase Neubauer. 

This is Neubauer's first time joining the two week Adventure Quest Program. 

The goal of the program is to do more than just keep kids busy during the summer. 

"[It] promotes connections with Wisconsin especially the Northern part [of Wisconsin with] all of China," said WISP Executive Director Xiaodong Kuang.

Kuang is one the organizers of the quest program. He couldn't think of a better way of promoting his goal than starting with young students. 

"[So that] the young generation, who will be the future leaders of the world, [can] appreciate cultures and know more about each other," said Kuang. 

This is Power Liu's first time coming to America with the program. 

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On Sunday he spent the day giving free water skiing and wakeboarding lessons.

"[To] get someone new out there to ski or at least get them attempting. It's always fun when you get the kids who are a little nervous out there and a little shaky, then they get out there and they love it," said Blanchard. 

Blanchard said every year the water sports community chooses a day to give back and participate in "International Pass the Handle Day."

 Kylee Swendson decided to help Blanchard this year with the lessons. 

"It's great for everybody to get a chance to learn especially people who don't get the opportunity every day," said Swendson. 

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