KALISPELL, Mont. - Unlike the rest of western Montana, the weather was perfect Saturday afternoon in Kalispell for some pond hockey.
This weekend the inaugural Montana Pond Hockey Classic kicks off on Foys Lake, just west of town.
51 teams with over 380 participants are playing on five rinks on Foys lake over the weekend.
"Pond hockey really strikes the heart strings to all hockey players really to be able to play the sport outdoors, it's how the sport started," said tournament organizer Scott Crowder.
Bart Orth came all the way from Nine Mile Falls in Washington.
He was excited to be a part of the inaugural tournament.
"This is my first hockey tournament ever. So most of these guys have been playing from pee-wee's but wow what a great environment, great tournament, they did an awesome job hosting it. Athletes out here are competitors from teenagers all the way through sixties so we're just having a great time in this environment," Orth said.
Crowder says the group also hosts tournaments in New Hampshire and Vermont, and they hope to grow and continue the tournament the Kalispell for years to come.
"A lot of hockey is played inside now so for people to have the opportunity to come outside and play the game it was supposed to be played, you have a lot of people out here playing hockey with smiles on their faces and that's what it's all about," said Crowder.