Again this year on Lake Nokomis, hundreds of hockey players of all ages and abilities, along with tens of thousands of spectators, will brave the elements and pack the ice for four days of raw outdoor hockey, just how the hockey gods intended. For over a decade, the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships has attracted hockey nuts from all over the U.S. and Canada, as semi-pros, college standouts, and old guys who aren’t ready to hang up the skates square off in hopes of securing the coveted Golden Shovel. There are numerous divisions, allowing men and women of all ages and experiences to channel their inner Charlie Conway, while curious onlookers spend the day playing “Are my fingers missing or just cold?” Food and beer are available for purchase, so you can make a whole day (or four) out of it, but be warned: The warming tent where everyone huddles when they aren’t on the ice smells like hundreds of sweaty hockey players. Needless to say, the Pond Hockey Championships aren’t for the weak. For complete game schedules, see the official U.S. Pond Hockey website, www.uspondhockey.com.