During the early twentieth century, North American taps ran dry with the establishment of Prohibition. No longer could someone walk into a bar to have a drink or throw back an ice-cold beer after a long afternoon of pond hockey. The United States was in shambles as organized crime went through the roof and federal government scrambled to track down bootleggers moving alcohol on the black market.
In 1924, Prohibition in Canada was lifted but it still remained in the US. This Prohibition affected no one more than the hockey community across the country. In one spot in particular a group of hockey players had enough. On a cold January night in an old abandoned warehouse in Burlington, VT this group met and set a plan, which would bring hockey players and beer drinkers together from all over the region.
With the help of their Hockey brothers from Canada, they would smuggle beer from great white north. Unable to cross the boarder on land they would have to use Lake Champlain. After weeks of planning the group grabbed their skates on a dark February Night and headed north skating the hard black ice from Malletts Bay all the way to Plage - Desranleau just over the boarder in Quebec, Canada. It was there where they picked up kegs of beer to bring with them back to the States for their pond hockey games.
Word of this expedition quickly spread through the hockey community within the United States and hockey players from all over started to make their way to Vermont. Finding a loophole in the laws of prohibition, these hockey players met the returning skaters and their cargo of beer 3 miles off the shoreline between Malletts Bay and South Hero Island, a distance exempt from the laws of prohibition.
It was here that the group stayed for three days, playing pond hockey and drinking beers. As the hockey games progressed a tournament format was created with one team emerging victorious. Not having a trophy for the winners, one guy looked around and grabbed an empty keg, which he handed to the winning team. As Prohibition continued in the United States for the 9 years that followed, the group met religiously each February to play pond hockey, drink beers and crown a champion out on Lake Champlain. The same keg was used year after year and was quickly dubbed the Champ Cup.
No one really knows what happened to this annual meeting of the pond hockey nation but soon after Prohibition ended in 1933 this tournament on Lake Champlain disappeared and so with it the Champ Cup. In 2010, while a painting crew was working on an old house in Burlington, VT, one of the painters stumbled upon a secret compartment hidden in basement wall of the house. Buried under a pile of old books and blankets the painter discovered an old steel keg. Using a clean bush in his pocket he quickly brushed aside the years of dust on the steel. Faintly carved into the side of the steel, the painter saw The Champ Cup.
When the discovery of the Champ Cup reached the hockey community of region, the chatter amongst the group quickly turned to the re-establishment of this annual meeting of the pond hockey faithful on the frozen waters of Lake Champlain. A dedicated group of hockey enthusiasts shouldered the burden and once again the Champ Cup will be up for grabs every February!
Open Division - Goldenrods
30+ Division - The Jammers
40+ Division - The Chickenhawks
Just for Fun U35 - Big Trucks
Just for Fun 35+ - Angus J's
Open Division - Red Wings
30+ Division - The Jammers
40+ Division - All Washed Up
Just for Fun 35+ - The Flying Eggplants