• Nick Zacharias

Friendly senior hockey


PHOTO COURTESY SHUTTERSTOCK

Though typically known as a contact sport, this hockey league will take both COVID-19 precautions and older bones into account in launching its no contact, no slap shot games this fall and is looking for new members.

Over 55 and looking for something sporting to do? With options limited in these times of COVID-19, you’re not alone. A group of senior hockey players from the region is working to build teams for a friendly once a week game and they’re open to all who are interested in a fun way to get a bit of exercise.

Peter Pouw, known locally as a member of the family that ran the Hollandia floral centre on Route Harwood for nearly 60 years, is looking to get enough players to hold casual matches this fall.

“The ice is booked for Fridays, at 10 a.m., starting September 11 at the Saint-Lazare Sports Complex,” says Pouw. “We’re looking for at least 16 players to make up two teams. We’re actually already up to nine, including one full-time goalie and three spares, so we’re on the lookout for another regular goalie and as many other players as we can find.”

Casual game

They plan to run a hockey game with no contact, and no slap shots allowed to keep things at a friendlier pace. Games will happen with a bit of warm-up time followed by about 40 minutes of play, and they’ll keep in line with governmental guidelines for physical distancing on benches and in changerooms, where time should be limited. “It’s just about getting out on the ice and having some fun,” says Pouw.

Open to all

They aren’t limiting who they’re open to either. So far interested players have signed on from Rigaud, Saint-Lazare, and a few from Vaudreuil-Dorion. “We’re open to any languages, backgrounds, whatever – if you’re over 55 and willing to play, you’re welcome. We’ve got French speakers, English speakers, it doesn’t matter if you speak Russian as long as you want to play some hockey.”

Pouw says he’s sure they can find the talent they’re looking for. He’s confident there are more players in Hudson and Saint-Lazare and the surrounding area that’ll be looking to join, especially as things have been so limited recently. As the province is opening up more and more, Pouw’s sure many will jump at the chance to get active and get out with people in a safe way. He even hinted at trying to entice some former NHL star power that falls around the right age bracket to join for a game or two.

Easy to join

The costs will be kept down too, with players being asked for $15 a game to cover ice time. “We’re also getting some sponsorship from Sports aux Puces in Vaudreuil,” says Pouw. “They’re doing our shirts for us, and they’ll be able to help us out with sharpening skates and that sort of thing.” Pouw says they’re working on developing a website, but in the meantime, anyone who’s interested in joining can reach Peter directly at pieterpan54@gmail.com or (514) 602-3038.

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