Playing hockey the old-fashioned way

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People gathered in Lower Onslow on Saturday to play hockey the old-fashioned way – on a frozen outdoor area and with lots of laughter.

A Lower Onslow Hockey Day in Canada celebration was held a week late because of unsuitable weather last weekend, but that didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of those who gathered to play outdoors this Saturday.

The Hockey Day in Canada celebration had been planned for last Saturday but had to be rescheduled due to weather. It brought out young people and seniors, males and females, those who play regularly and some who had not played for a few years.

“This is laid back and not too competitive,” said Jeff Eagles, who was one of the goalies playing during the morning. “It was -18 when I got here but it warmed up a bit and was pretty nice. Sometimes you get too warm playing indoors.”

Eagles, who is a young adult, didn’t play hockey as a child, only learning about five years ago.

“I watched it and decided it was something I wanted to play,” he said. “This time of year I now play four to five times a week. I play out here a lot.”

The ice surface is on land belonging to Bruce Fiddes, who came up with the idea to hold the local event.

“I had a lot of good help with this,” said Fiddes. “We were flooding this area last night until about 9 o’clock. The first thing anyone said to me when we got here this morning was ‘This is awesome!’ and that made it worthwhile. The whole idea is for people to have fun.

“Everyone in my generation grew up with pond hockey and there are a lot of good memories associated with it.”

George Hill was also enjoying playing hockey outdoors.

“I played as a kid and I started on a pond like this,” he said. “There is a different atmosphere when you play here. There’s a lot of camaraderie and you don’t have to skate so hard. It’s all for fun.”

Geographic location: Canada

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