Thousands Arrive for Hockey Tournament - NBC Connecticut

Thousands Arrive for Hockey Tournament



    Some of the best female hockey players in the country for their age are here in Connecticut this week.

    The 26th annual Connecticut Polar Bears Holiday Tournament is being held until Dec. 30 at many ice rinks across the state.

    The tournament started in 1985 with four teams. Now there are nearly 200 teams and 3,500 players participating.

    "It gives them a chance to showcase themselves nationally against the best competition across the country," said tournament founder and Polar Bears coach Maurice Fitzmaurice.

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    Since the tournament began, nine Polar Bear players have gone on to play in the Olympics.

    Janice Yang joined the Polar Bears when she was 7. She is now a senior at Choate and is on her way to play hockey at Brown University.

    "It's pretty big," Yang said. "It's always been one of the biggest tournaments around."

    The tournament is big for business too. Fifty Hartford area hotels are booked during the four-day tournament.