Hundreds take part in 25th annual Edmonton outdoor hockey tournament

More than 480 young hockey stars showed off their skills this weekend at one of Edmonton’s longest-standing outdoor hockey tournaments.

'It's a fun tournament.. it's not about who wins and who loses'

Hundreds of hockey players played in one of Edmonton's oldest outdoor hockey tournaments this weekend. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

More than 480 young hockey stars showed off their skills this weekend at one of Edmonton's longest-standing outdoor hockey tournaments.

The 25th-annual Stan Gantar Memorial Tournament got underway Friday at the Kilkenny Community League outdoor rinks in the northeast side of the city. Since then, more than 30 games have been played.

"Today, we started off with a crisp -19 C and a nominal wind, and we've been going strong ever since," volunteer Anthony Pasini said Sunday. "And everybody appreciates the opportunity to be out here."

Thirty-two teams of various skill levels are participating in this year's competition, each playing four games. A total of 486 kids will participate in the 64 games.

Three young hockey players race up the ice at the Kilkenny Community League rink Sunday afternoon. (Scott Neufeld/CBC)

The outdoor tournament was started in the 1990s by friends of Stan Gantar, who was a founding member of the Kilkenny Community League. The community league has been hosting the tournament since the 1990s, bringing Edmonton families together for 25 years.

Pasini said there used to be outdoor tournaments in various neighbourhoods throughout Edmonton, but the Kilkenny tournament is one of the last ones standing.

"I'm not aware of any other outdoor tournaments that are continuing," he said.

The tournament's longevity can be credited to the people who organize it year after year, Pasini said.

"It's volunteer commitment. It's a significant effort to put it on," he said. "It's a fun tournament — that's what it's all about. It's not who wins and who loses."

The tournament will wrap up on Feb. 4.