The 18th annual Pines OAM Alumni Hockey Tournament will be this Saturday, July 7, at the Eagle River Sports Arena starting at 9 a.m.

The one-day event benefits local youth skaters and helps maintain the Eagle River Recreation Association (ERRA) and Northland Pines boys and girls hockey teams — continuing the “Tradition on Ice.” 

The tournament is named in memory of Orin A. Mangseth, a former Pines boys hockey coach and longtime supporter of the program. Mangseth led the Eagles to their first boys State Hockey Championship in 1984.

The tournament is played in the Cube, with a 3-on-3 half-ice format. The registration fee is $50 per player and an alumni team shirt will be included in the registration this year. 

Games will be played throughout the day and food and refreshments will be available, said David Cox, one of the organizers of the event.

“We are really looking forward to getting back on the ice and seeing our alumni return home again this year,” said Cox. “We started this tournament almost two decades ago, thinking it would last three or four years, and here we are on our 18th year and still raising money for Pines hockey and the ERRA.”

Cox said one of the featured teams this tournament will be the Zyhowski team. He said many members of the family are returning for the tournament. He said Olympian Jinelle Zaugg-Siergiej and her husband, Mike Siergiej, will also be returning to play, as will University of Wisconsin national champion Dennis Snedden. It will also be the first year for Team Cox, with seven family members playing.

Michelle Rubo, another alumni tourney organizer, said the 2017 tournament raised several thousand dollars. This year’s funds will go toward the ERRA for rink maintenance. Over the past 17 years, the alumni tournament proceeds have included:

• $41,000 to the ERRA, including $3,000 for a new scoreboard.

• $20,000 to the ERRA to pay off a loan necessary to finish the Northland Pines boys and youth locker rooms.

• $1,500 to the Pines boys hockey team.

• $1,500 to the Pines girls hockey team.

• $1,600 to the Vilas Food Pantry.

“The original goal was to benefit the ERRA, which we have done and hope to continue to do,” said Rubo. “The new locker room was a big project ($350,000). Many businesses and individuals made very generous donations of time, materials and money. The OAM paid off a $20,000 loan that was needed to finish off the proj­ect.

“A big thank you to all who have played, or helped in any way to make this fundraiser a success,” said Rubo.

For more information, contact Tom “OB” Obrodovich at tomob1515­@gmail.com or pinesalumnihockey@g­mail.com.