The population of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick is expected to triple this week as teams from around the world descend on the village for the 13th Annual World Pond Hockey Championship.

World Pond Hockey Championship/Facebook

Close to 100 teams from across Canada, the U.S. and several other countries will take to the ice Thursday through Sunday to vie for the coveted Goodwill Cup.  It’s four-on-four play on 20 separate rinks set up on Roulston Lake with no goalies and an emphasis on fun and camaraderie.

The event gets started on Thursday, February 13th with the team registration at noon, according to organizer Danny Braun. A new component of the registration will be a special ‘Taste of New Brunswick,' hosted by Tourism New Brunswick.  Members of the food industry will offer samples of their products to visiting teams as they register. Seafood, potato products, chocolate, fruit and vegetable specialties are among the homegrown treats that will be available.

The opening ceremony, complete with the parade of athletes, will start at the Tobique-Plex in Plaster Rock on Thursday at 5:00 p.m. followed by the official puck drop and fireworks on Roulston Lake. Local MLA Wes McLean, Hon. Graydon Nicholas, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, Hockey legend Gerry “Red” Ouellette, municipal officials and the 1st Battalion, Royal New Brunswick Regiment will participate.

Teams in the “open” division and the “ladies” division begin play at 7:00 PM Thursday with games following at 8:00 and 9:00 PM.  Acoustic Train will be providing entertainment in the Pavilion to round out the evening.

Play continues on Friday and Saturday. The top 32 teams in the open division will advance to a single elimination play down on Sunday morning. They will be joined by the top 4 ladies teams and by mid-afternoon Sunday, the winners will be determined in both divisions.

Check out the World Pond Hockey Championship on Facebook

Click here for a complete schedule.