Hilliard-based nonprofit organization Patches of Light is putting on an adult 3-on-3 hockey tournament this weekend at the Chiller North, 8144 Highfield Drive, Lewis Center.

Hilliard-based nonprofit organization Patches of Light is putting on an adult 3-on-3 hockey tournament this weekend at the Chiller North, 8144 Highfield Drive, Lewis Center.

"We've been planning it for about a year," said Mindy Atwood, founder of Patches of Light. "Hockey's always had a good place in our heart, and the Chiller has been so gracious."

Admission to the tournament is free, with most of the games played at the 750-seat main rink. Proceeds from the teams' entry fees and fan donations will help Patches of Light, which assists families with critically ill children.

"We have so many requests (for assistance), especially this time of year," Atwood said. "People are starting to accumulate bills again like in the spring."

Atwood, who recently represented the Cincinnati Reds at Major League Baseball's All-Star Game for her charity work, is also a hockey fan who taught her kids how to skate. She came up with the Pucks for Patches Tournament as a fundraiser.

"We're going to try to guarantee three games each, and we're also going to have a championship," Atwood said. "They say 3-on-3 is a really fun way to do a tournament. We were going to go with Shooter Tutors (a piece of canvas with five openings that is tied to the goal post), but everybody wanted to bring their own goalie. Everybody's allowed to have up to 9 players, so they can keep rotating in and out (during) the three 10-minute periods. We also have a lot of coed teams, which is amazing to me."

Jeremy Rogers, assistant general manager at the Chiller, explained the 3-on-3 game, which has 3 skaters (instead of the normal 5) and a goalie per team.

"A lot of people term it pond hockey," Rogers said. "It changes the game to make it more open. There's a lot more ice to cover, a lot more skating involved, a lot more individual skill. In a normal game you might be passing off to a teammate every time you feel pressure from the defense. In 3-on-3 you have a lot more room to skate, puck handle and try to make things happen on your own. It's a quicker, shorter game because the players are skating so much more and tiring out a lot quicker. You substitute more frequently."

Rogers said the Chiller has hosted other charitable hockey tournaments and events.

"I'm hoping we have a lot of fun with (Pucks for Patches), and that they're able to raise some money, and built on it for next year and beyond."

Atwood said the players will get a T-shirt, team photo and a bag of goodies, and the winning team will get a trophy.

"We want to show our donors just how much we appreciate them, so we're always trying to come with let's have some fun even though we're doing something good for someone else."

Last week, Rogers said the Pucks for Patches playing times weren't set because they weren't certain how many teams would be competing, but the tournament could start Friday evening, continue most of Saturday and wrap up Sunday morning (Aug. 27-29).

For more information, call the Chiller North at 740-549-0009 or visit patchesoflight.org.