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Hockey hooligans hash it out on the box

Brooklyn Daily

Don’t block the box.

A Williamsburg art gallery may have invented the greatest bar game in Brooklyn history.

Pandemic Gallery’s “Box Hockey” features a form of knock hockey that’s played with long sticks inside a wooden box.

More than 10 artists, including Scott Chasse, Don Pablo Pedro and gallery owner Keely Brandon, painted custom-made boxes, put on sale for $600 each.

But art took a backseat to a single-elimination tournament last month during the exhibition’s opening that determined who the best box hockey player in the world is. During the play, the sport’s inventor, artist Derek Pippin, took the singles tournament, but dropped a doubles match in a close fight.

Still, Pandemic’s Rob Drysdale, who built most of the custom-made boxes, called Pippin “so much better than anyone else” at this game.

“The crowd was drunk, exuberant and loud as f—k,” said Drysdale. “The winning score to all the games was three. I forgot how tiring the game is.”

The rules of the game are simple. Each player grabs a wooden stick, which is used to move a hockey puck through two small holes on the opponent’s side of the box. The first person to 11 points wins — there’s no time limit. Biting, gouging, and drawing blood is not permitted.

“But gambling is allowed,” said Drysdale. “And we encourage verbal assaults.”

On July 15, you can take one last shot for glory, when the gallery will host even more games to find Brooklyn’s best box hockey player.

Drysdale hopes the spot catches on and that neighborhood bars and restaurants would buy the Pandemic-brand boxes for their own outdoor usage.

Who knows, you could someday hoist a plywood Stanley Cup over your head.

“Box Hockey” at Pandemic Gallery (37 Broadway at Kent Avenue, Williamsburg, no phone), July 15 from 7 to 11 pm. Free. For info, www.pandemicgallery.com.

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