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Pond hockey tournament weeks away, but no ice

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Buffalo: Pond hockey tournament weeks away, but no ice
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In just more than three weeks, hockey players from across the country will be in Buffalo. They're hoping to play in a pond hockey tournament at the Erie Basin Marina, but right now, there's not any ice to be seen. YNN's Katie Morse tells us if they'll be lacing up their ice skates or sneakers.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Buffalo's frozen Erie Basin Marina is the perfect setting for a pond hockey tournament. It brings players from across the country and Canada, but the only problem is that right now the marina has no ice.

"We're seeing a lot of open water at this point. We're gonna go day by day, and see what Mother Nature has for us out there," said Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak.

Labatt Blue Pond Hockey organizers and the City of Buffalo will be keeping a close eye on the area in the next 10 days. The February 9th tournament will take place either way, but players may have to face off in street hockey in the parking lot like they did last year.

"We really didn't see any cold weather outbreaks. Temperatures just running four, five, six degrees above average for a three month stretch, that pretty much took us through the winter season," explained YNN Meteorologist Dan Russell.

But as we all know in Buffalo, if there's one thing that can change quickly it's the weather. And there's a very real chance that in just a few weeks we'll be playing some pond hockey on the ice.

"I know we've seen a lot of warm weather here the past couple weeks, but heading into this weekend and especially next week we're looking at the coldest air so far this season, and it looks as though it's going to have some staying power," said Russell.

Next week is expected to bring temperatures only in the teens. It's a big dip from what we're seeing now, but will it be enough?

"What we're looking for is a foot of ice. A foot of ice ensures we can get any piece of equipment on there to clear ice and things like that," said Stepniak.

Ninety-six teams are signed up to compete in the tournament.

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