Ontario Regional Old Timers’ Hockey hits the ice

Military staff in hockey gear and one in a military uniform pose for a photo on centre ice.
From left are Borden Team Captain Master Warrant Officer Guy Thivierge, Kingston Team Captain Warrant Officer Gary Thomson, Chief Warrant Officer Tom Verner, 4th Canadian Division Support Group (4 CDSG) Formation Sergeant Major, 4 CDSG Deputy Commander Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Raymond, Trenton Team Captain Major Sly Carignan, and Petawawa Team Captain Sergeant Shawn Keenan. (Photo: Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post)

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By Patricia Leboeuf, Petawawa Post

Teams from Trenton, Borden, Kingston and Petawawa took to the ice to see who would take home the win at the 2018 Ontario Regional Old Timers’ Hockey Championship.

The championship ran between February 4 and 7 at the Silver Dart Arena. Unlike traditional men’s hockey, the Old Timers’ league is reserved for Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) members 40 and older.

Though on-ice competition is fierce, many have grown to be friends after playing against each other for so long.

“The guys work hard towards this all year long,” said Rebecca Olstad, Garrison Petawawa Personnel Support Programs (PSP) Military Sports Coordinator. “They have that camaraderie and a lot of them have played for years. It is great to see them out together.”

The demographics for the Old Timers’ have also changed to reflect the CAF. It used to be that a participant had to be at least 35 years old to be considered, but that requirement has been changed to 40. Teams are allowed up to 20 players.

It is a great way to have fun, build esprit de corps, and keep fit, even when the rivalry on the ice gets a little heated. Some of these players bring decades of experience to the game, said Olstad.

“I think that as we get older, we get a little better in some areas,” said Olstad. “If it isn’t our technique, it is our strategy or our mental prep going into the sport.”

It is the second year in a row that Petawawa has hosted the championship. Olstad appreciates the strong support in organizing the event with countless former and current serving members offering their volunteer services.

“The prep that it takes to get the teams here is unbelievable,” said Olstad. “There is a lot behind the scenes that people don’t see.”

Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Raymond, Deputy Commander, 4th Canadian Division Support Group (4 CDSG), and Chief Warrant Officer Tom Verner, 4 CDSG Formation Sergeant Major, welcomed the teams. LCol Raymond offered his sincerest well wishes to all attendees before dropping the puck at the opening ceremonies.

The winners will go on to play at the Nationals on March 17 to 22 in Borden, Ont.

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