By Lyle Carter
During his youth, Scott Buckler excelled at minor hockey. He later starred for the Tatamagouche junior B team.
These days, Scott and Dianne Buckler's sons, Kaleb and Seth, are carrying the torch.
"Both boys play for Tatamagouche Titans minor hockey teams," Buckler, 32, of French River, said. "I don't coach but I enjoy helping out where I can. The North Shore Recreation Centre is so important. We could never replace this rink and we have a great minor hockey organization from novice up to midget."
Buckler, a lobster fisherman who works part of the year in Fort McMurray, Alta., said every kid who registers for minor hockey in Tatamagouche gets to play.
"There is no having to make a team," Buckler said. "You get to know nearly every child and their parents right up through. It's good for spirit and overall moral. Our minor hockey is like one big family. Parents are quick to do things for other people's kids as well as their own. The bottom line is we love the game, we love hockey."
Kaleb, a defenceman, plays for the Titans bantam team coached by Gary Cassidy and Ian MacDonald.
"We have been having a good season," Kaleb, 14, said. "We have won more than 15 games against two losses. Our captain, Kevin Doyle, is one of the big reasons. Kevin is a big scorer and a real leader. The rest of our team plays very well together too. As a defenceman I tend to go up the ice and play offensively more because we have such a good team."
Kaleb is a fourth-year layer in the Tatamagouche Minor Hockey Association.
"Playing hockey with my friends is important to me," he said. "I enjoy competition and it's enjoyable playing in this bantam league against teams from Debert, Truro, Parsboro and Pictou County. I enjoy road games and going to other rinks and playing against teams from away."
Seth is a forward and captain of Tatamagouche atom B team.
"Our team plays mostly against Pictou County teams from New Glasgow, Westville and Pictou," Seth, 10, said. "I really enjoy playing in games and I like it when our team wins. I enjoy scoring goals too. Learning new plays from our coaches during practice is good and I like to try plays I've seen on television by NHL players."
Seth said to date his team is not having a winning season.
"We have quite a few new players. We're improving though and I find that players who weren't touching the puck are starting to get to handle the puck in games. I think by the end of the season our team will be more competitive and we'll be winning more."
Hockey is also part of home life for the Bucklers.
"We talk hockey around the house," Kaleb said. "We talk over games that we played and what happened with our teams. How we played comes into it as well. We have fun talking hockey."
Seth explained that he and Kaleb have targets set up in four corners of their basement that they shoot pucks at.
"We have a video game, NHL 14, which we play a lot," Seth said. "My favourite NHL teams are Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings. My two favorite players are Zdeno Chara and Pavel Datsyuk. Chara is a big hitter and has a real good slap shot. Datsyuk has such good offensive moves."
Tatamagouche Minor Hockey Association past president Marilyn Hutchinson said the Bucklers are strong supporters and good representatives of the association.
"I've got to know the Bucklers though hockey," Hutchinson said. "They've always been so supportive of the home association. They volunteer when they can and Scott brings such a wealth of hockey knowledge to the rink. Scott and Dianne have two highly skilled hockey players who could play elsewhere, but they choose to remain and play in Tatamagouche."
TAGLINE: Lyle Carter's sports column appears every Saturday in the Truro Daily News. If you have a story idea, contact him at 673-2857.