Pond Hockey Guys
- Founder for Senior Men's Pond Hockey -
Peter Goehle is doing something good for the seniors. He has organized senior pond hockey for older gentlemen who stil want to play the sport in the NIagara Region. The idea was for older gentlemen to play hockey, at more a recreational level, than a competitive level compared to when they were younger. Peter also wanted to accommodate those seniors who had health issues but still wanted to be active in a sport they loved. Peter had to do a little bit of bargaining though with the city to get good rates for renting ice time. Originally the costs were too expensive but Peter and other organizers got the mayor involved, and with a little bit of persuasion and publicity, the city finally agreed to charge the senior skate price which was $2.25 per skater [or player in this case.] That was back in 2008 and this bargain price applied, no matter how many players showed up.
"Initially it was Fridays," Peter recalls, "now it's Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays." Some of the old regulars are Dave Baker, Ronnie McGirr, Dave Ripley and Peter Goehle, himself. There's also Billy Jackson, Larry Pepper and Cliff Brown. "It's mostly word of mouth," says Peter. Most of the older guys who watch us, say "Hey I can handle what I see. It's gentle hockey and non-aggressive." Even Billy Dan, who was an ex-junior B, known as "The Rock" in his youth, would agree to this manageable style of play for seniors. One of the "senior seniors" is "Woody" who will be 84 this May.
"Yes," says Peter, "goals are the least important. We get our exercise and some of the guys meet for pizza afterwards and sometimes even for a round of golf when the weather gets warm."
Senior Pond Hockey was started in September 2008 in the Niagara Region. The purpose of this venture was to accommodate men who are advanced in age, especially the ones who are not as mobile any longer and who have a medical condition or physical problem, such as knee replacement, shoulder surgery or hip replacement.
Ladies Pond Hockey was started in January 2010 at the Chippawa arena and continued the following year at the Gale Centre. The idea came from Peter Goehle's friend, Ed Strohak, both men being devoted to promoting all kinds of hockey programs.
Guidelines During Play
The purpose of the sport at this age group is to make the games enjoyable and risk free. It is not to be treated like a regular hockey game but rather like a public skate with stick and puck. Don't try to be a hero. The glory days are gone. Scoring should be the least important thing. Only five skaters on rthe ice during play, one is guarding the net and four are in play. Games are supposed to be strictly for fun and exercise, so consideration for older players and common sense must be observed so nobody gets hurt.
- Avoid body contact at all times.
- Avoid all situations which could lead to a collision.
- Keep the puck on the ice, low velocity shots.
- No stick checking, hooking or poking for the puck if it is between someone's skates.
- Don't hack for the puck against the boards.
- Coming off the bench, relieve the person guarding the net.
- Don't go for the puck in the blue ice area in front of the goalie.
E-mail Peter Goehle
by John Hartig with Peter
at the Quadplex Arena,
St. Catharines, Ontario
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