(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - On Saturday, the first annual Home for the Holidays Street Hockey Tournament was held at the Linden Street Hockey Rink at Linden School in Malden.
Malden resident Scott Saia organized the tournament in just three weeks from conception to reality. Saia stated on the event's Facebook page that, "the goal of the tournament was to bring back the sentiment, fun, and feeling of one of Malden's all-time great pastimes, street hockey. For decades, the youth of Malden could be found playing both street and ice hockey throughout the city."
Saia says the street hockey tournament started as "a joke comment on Facebook," to get a bunch of old friends together for a pickup game, but since the response went viral, overnight there were well over 120 people interested in playing.
Saia then decided to stage a tournament with teams representing the different neighborhoods of the city. With all the players being over 35 years of age, Saia wanted to show today's youth how important it is to be active, to exercise, and to work together as a team.
Many of the eventual 140 players traveled home to Malden for the holidays from other New England states, and even from as far away as North Carolina. Several even made their own team uniforms.
Former Boston Bruins players John Carter, Bruce Shoebottom, and Dave Shaw also played.
Maplewood one was crowned the eventual champions.
Proceeds raised through player fees and sales of t-shirts benefitted the Malden Teen Enrichment Center that recently opened in Malden Square. The center is a place for teens to grow in many different ways, including academically, socially, and professionally.
Malden Mayor Gary Christenson credits Saia "with doing something really special for our city" and is grateful to him for creating the event and raising funds for the new teen center.