15th Annual Walleye Chop Tourney
- Updated: May 15, 2019
(Article and photos provided by Eric Besse, National Sports Center/featured image – Chix with Stix, women’s A Division)
15th annual Walleye Chop adult hockey tournament crowns 15 champions
While there was plenty to do this past weekend given Mother’s Day and the fishing opener, many chose to play some tournament hockey.
Eric Besse, tournament director for the 15th annual Walleye Chop adult hockey tournament at Blaine’s Schwan Super Rick on the campus of the National Sports Center complex, gives us the results of this years tournament held this past weekend. Photos included. Enjoy!
Hockey, socializing and tailgating give this annual tournament its unique vibe
Blaine, Minn. (May 14, 2019) – The 15th annual Walleye Chop adult hockey tournament wrapped up three days of play on Sunday, May 12 by crowning 15 new champions at the Schwan Super Rink on the National Sports Center campus in Blaine.
This year, a full tournament of teams – 124 – competed in 15 different divisions for men and women. Teams represented seven different states and Canadian provinces: Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Texas, Wisconsin and Ontario. Skill levels ran the gamut, from divisions for players with minimal experience, up to the Men’s and Women’s A Division, featuring multiple past collegiate players.
For most of the teams, however, the fun activities rival the hockey as the big draw. There was a fish fry, plenty of tailgating, and a few beers consumed.
“This is probably our tenth year,” said Scott Sahs, with The Buzz, a Rochester team playing in the Men’s D division. “It’s awesome competition, and we love hanging out in the parking lot. It’s a good party atmosphere.”
Michael Johnson of Bloomington, standing outside his motorhome with his team, Fireside, said his team has been playing in the tournament every year, and he said it’s their favorite event of the year.
“The parking lot, the camaraderie, the hockey, the whole deal,” he said. “You just can’t beat it. Hands down the best; they just go over the top. We’ve always had a great time playing here.”
The popularity of Walleye Chop, which is always held on the Minnesota walleye fishing opening weekend, proves that not all hockey players fish. But fish, and fishing, are a constant theme throughout the tournament. Divisions were named after fish species, such as the Muskie or Northern Pike Divisions.
Here are the 2019 Walleye Chop champions:
Bowfin Division (Women’s A): Chix with Stix, Minneapolis. See featured image.
Bluegill Division (Women’s B): The Mighty Drunks, Minneapolis. Photo Link.
Salmon Division (Women’s B): Hinote’s Heroes, St. Paul. Photo Link.
Sunfish Division (Women’s C): SISU Warriors, Thunder Bay, Ontario. Photo Link.
Sturgeon Division (Women’s C): Texas Stampede, Dallas, Texas. Photo Link.
Muskie Division (Men’s A): Greasy Mitts, Andover, Minn. Photo Link.
Northern Pike Division (Men’s B): Scoregasms, Minneapolis. Photo Link.
Bass Division (Men’s C): Rice Street Rockers, St. Paul. Photo Link.
Bullhead Division (Men’s C): The Loonatics, Rosemount, Minn. Photo Link.
Catfish Division (Men’s C): Bearsox, Grand Forks, N.D. Photo Link.
Whitefish Division (Men’s D): SHLers, Minneapolis. Photo Link.
Steelhead Division (Men’s D): Hecktor’s Homies, New Hope, Minn. Photo Link.
Eelpout Division (Men’s D): B.H. Three, St. Paul. Photo Link.
Carp Division (Men’s Novice): Hat Trick Hockey, Princeton, Minn. Photo Link.
Mooneye Division (Men’s Novice): Minnesota Meanies, Coon Rapids, Minn. Photo Link.