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Labatt Blue pond hockey tournament returns Friday

The puck will drop at 1:30 p.m. Friday on the ninth annual Labatt Blue Buffalo pond hockey tournament, with the first of more than 240 games involving more than 1,000 skaters throughout the weekend.

This is the third year the tournament will take place at Buffalo RiverWorks entertainment complex, 359 Ganson St.

In addition to outdoor patios, heated indoor space and player locker rooms, there will be two bars, more than 30 TVs and a full restaurant menu. Additions this year also include “human bowling,” an on-ice entertainment fans can try, limited-edition hockey art, and appearances by Sabres Alumni.

“Buffalo is a hockey town and Labatt Blue is a beer brand with deep hockey roots,” said Gina Heine, associate brand manager for Labatt Blue. “This tournament is the ultimate way to celebrate the passion Buffalo has for the sport and the pride this community has for its hometown.”

Individual teams will play two of three days over the weekend, with games taking place from 1:30 p.m. to approximately 10 p.m. Friday, and 10:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday to approximately 10 p.m.