Any time you can lace up a pair of skates and take to the ice for a friendly game office hockey it’s a good thing.
For the players involved with the Masters’ Hockey League in Clarenville, it’s still a great way to get in a little physical activity and socialize at the same time.
Glen Verge is one of the more senior members in the league. Last month Verge turned 74.
For the last four years he’s been tending the net for the weekly skate.
Verge hails from Ontario, but now calls Sunnyside home. He was always a hockey fan but never played any minor hockey growing up. He got his first taste of playing as an adult in recreation leagues.
When he first put on the skates he tended the blue line. Then he played a few stints at left wing.
One night when his team was in need of a goaltender he decided to give it a whirl. He’s played in goal ever since.
The pace of the masters’ hockey games are not at Mach one speed, however Verge says he still gets a good workout.
“I can still make my share of saves,” he quips.
Rod Nicholl was one of the people who helped get the league going several years ago. He says very little has changed on how they play the game.
To start, the puck is placed at centre ice. Two players stand facing each other and with three clicks of their sticks the game starts. There are no referees and the time clock isn’t turned on. No statistics are recorded.
The program still provides a hockey experience for some older individuals who want to continue to live the hockey experience, says Nicholl.
Although the league continues to encourage and recruit older participants, there are younger fellows, like members of the RCMP, who join for the exercise."
“We have approximately 40 members registered who participate at different levels of commitment.”
For Verge getting a workout is always nice, but at this stage in the game he enjoys the social aspect just as much if not more.
“It’s just nice to be able to sit around the dressing room after the game and catch up on things,” says Verge. “They’re a great bunch of guys.”
The league is now preparing for its third annual RCMP Masters Discovery Health Care Foundation charity hockey game set for Monday, April 16.
A combination of RCMP/Masters players will compete against the G.B. Cross Memorial Hospital staff. In the previous two games $10,000 was raised for the foundation at each event.
Proceeds from this year’s charity game will be donated to the surgical services campaign at the hospital.
“We are encouraging residents to support this cause by getting out to the game and supporting your favourite player or team by making a donation to any of the players,” says Nicholl. “There will be a goal in one opportunity for some lucky fan who will have an opportunity to win a new car.”
Nicholl says that with the charity series tied at one game apiece, next week’s game is expected to be the blood match.
For tickets contact Shirley Stead at the Discovery Health Care Foundation at 466-5231
The puck drops at 7 p.m. at the Clarenville Events Centre on April 16.