A quick scan around the Steam Whistle Brewery during Smashfest and you’ll see Jeff Skinner with a laser like focus practicing on empty tables, Taylor Hall posing for pictures with fans, and Zach Hyman and Connor Carrick battling against each other in ping pong. Mix in beer flowing, fresh air, amidst the downtown Toronto backdrop, and it was a spectacular scene for any hockey fan and a damn good time even if you weren’t.
Smashfest is a charity ping-pong tournament hosted by Dominic Moore that gets NHL players to compete against each other to raise money for concussion and rare cancer research. In its sixth annual event held this past July 20th, the event has raised over $500,000.
It was a star-studded event. Event goers could bump into players and the media very easily, and with the friendly atmosphere, conversations were had by players and fans alike all throughout the tournament. And if you watch hockey on TV, you’d be familiar with Elliot Friedman, Caroline Cameron and Michelle Sturino all mingling or working the event.
The actual tournament had intense competition and every NHL player was at least decent at ping pong. You could tell each player wanted to win. Every game had lots of fans watching and cheering, and after good rallies and shots the guests were loud. It was a great atmosphere.
Ultimately Anaheim Ducks forward Patrick Eaves won the tournament for the third time in a row.