When the temperature drops, hardcore hockey players around the world leave behind climate-controlled rinks and return to the frozen ponds where the sport was born. Northland Films created an award-winning ode to these hallowed grounds in the 2008 documentary 'Pond Hockey'. Earlier this month, the Great Lakes-based production company released a follow-up photo book called 'Pond Hockey: Frozen Moments'. The 128-page anthology includes shots by photographers based everywhere from Denali to Helsinki, a testament to the sport’s global popularity—and a reminder that hockey still shines away from the bright lights of today’s rinks.
“There's just something to being outside and playing with your friends that you can’t beat,” says Tommy Haines, co-partner of Northland Films. “The speed and the wind and being surrounded by mountains—we wanted to celebrate that.”
Photo: The majority of shots in the book came from Nicholas Wynia, a freelance photographer based in Iowa City. Wynia spent three and a half weeks driving 6,000 miles through Canada, up the East Coast, and back along the Great Lakes—in a rental Nissan Maxima without snow tires, no less. While he drove, the Northland Films team was back in Iowa City, scouring Facebook for local pond hockey teams and rinks. On Acorn Pond in Fredonia, New York, 50 miles outside of Buffalo, Wynia met a team of middle-aged chargers who still travel to local pond hockey tournaments in their beloved ramshackle RV.