A very special hockey game took place at Shaw Centre on the cusp of the new year.
One of Salmon Arm’s first oldtimer hockey teams, the Salmon Arm Cavaliers, had a nostalgic game on Friday, Dec. 30 featuring players from the mid ‘70s up to present time.
An oldtimer team had a starting age limit of 35 years when it all began back in the old Salmon Arm Memorial Arena. Once clad in green and white jerseys with two crutches as their logo, players included Ken Kolkind, Ray Clayton, Lloyd Smith, Lorne Shockey, Spence Tatchell, Al Andrews, Barry Lipsett, Don MacPherson and Albert Pasqualotto.
In the mid ‘70s, the team shed the green and white in favour of red and blue jerseys, and thus began a new era with a team called the Cavaliers. Fred Baker, Dave Davidson, Gordie Woods, Glen Madsen, Don Blair, Darryl Koskimaki and Hugh McCurrach were some of the rookies on the team.
Highly competitive, the team captured a number of tournament wins including two gold medals in provincial Seniors Games. The success of the team began yet another changeover to younger players – Monty Jones, Bill Hagardt, Bob Munro, Rich Mori, Terry Tarnow, Rick Harris, Jim Beckner, Gary Osborne, Steve Hobbs and Gord Mackintosh.
Today, many of the aforementioned players have long since retired or have passed on to hockey heaven, but the Cavalier hockey tradition continues to be a force in Oldtimer hockey.
Many of the former Cavalier players have moved on to Senior Oldtimers hockey, which continues to be a popular choice for players in their sixties, seventies and eighties. Today, the fifth generation of Cavs includes players who were not even born when the team originated – Roger and John Bootsma, Glenn Hucul, Ryan Mackintosh, Damon Kipp and Kevin Sewell. Salmon Arm currently offers daytime hockey choices for more than 100 players, some regular and some spares.
Cavalier player Ray Vandermeer, who was instrumental in getting the Dec. 30 game going, said it the best.
“This is all about lasting friendships and love of the game!” He was in tears.
Gord Mackintosh added he was proud he had the opportunity to play with his son, Ryan.
Alan Purves had a smile on his face when he stickhandled from one end of the rink to the other end and missed scoring the tying goal. It was reported he blamed the ref but forgot there was no ref.
Oldest players in the lineup included Dave Davidson and Hugh Hooker. Rumor has it that Davidson, at 82 years old, will be lacing them up still when he hits the century mark. Hooker, the former Western International Hockey stalwart for the Nelson Maple Leafs, continues to draw respect from others on the ice at 80 years young.
“Hugh was feared in the WIHL and he is still feared today; he never smiles on the ice!” added goalie Burt Ducharme who is destined for the Goalie Hockey Hall of Fame.
Players participating in the game were: Peter Wright, Ryan Mackintosh, Gord Mackintosh, Roger Bootsma, John Bootsma, Alan Mori, Glen Hucul, Dave Davidson, Dhane Merriman, Al Purves, Bill Taylor, Burt Ducharme, Kevin Sewell, Chris Davidson, Kevin Hansen, Jim Beckner, Roy Sakaki, Corey Saitz, Jeff Fukumoto, Hugh Hooker, Bill Hagardt, Ron Hagardt (injured), Steve Hughes, Len Lega, Jim Duxbury, Loyal Goodey, Joe Collens and Ray Vandermeer.
– Submitted by Roy Sakaki
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