A former player and coach with Concord Youth Hockey and Concord High School, Chris Brown, 51, is responsible for creating and organizing the popular 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament, whose mission was to honor past hockey history and support recreational projects in the Concord area.
Approximately 700 players take part in the annual event at White Park in Concord, making up nearly 100 teams that compete in eight divisions over a three-day weekend. Over the 11 years the non-profit has donated over $550,000 back to the local community and clubs, local youth organizations and projects, specifically the new skate house at White Park.
Brown began coaching his own children in the Concord Youth Hockey system in the 2008-09 season. He continued coaching both in the house leagues and the travel teams at the various levels of Learn to Skate, Mites, Squirts, Pee Wee and Bantam until 2018.
In 2018, Chris moved on to coaching the New England Wildcats that played out of the Tri-Town Arena in Hooksett, N.H. Those teams have competed throughout New England and qualified for national tournaments several times.
But Brown is best-known for his work in creating the 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Tournament, its name deriving from when the first organized game of ice hockey was played in the United States at St. Paul’s School.
Brown took an idea and a challenge from some hockey friends and created a team of dedicated volunteers to make this event not only happen, but flourish for over a decade, while continuously upgrading the participation for players, spectators and the community.
The Black Ice Hockey Association, led by Brown, partnered with the City of Concord from the event’s inception, and The 1883 Black Ice Pond Hockey Championship has become one of the largest outdoor winter events in a state filled with popular outdoor winter events.
While the event provides a wide array of family activities that have included interactive games, bonfires, live entertainment, fireworks, food trucks and ice sculptures, the Black Ice tournament has forever linked Concord to the origin of the American game and has reinforced the history of the black ice ponds of St. Paul’s, where Hobey Baker – who many call the greatest amateur player of all time – played.