One could assume the first period of play after a summer of slo-pitch and golf, with some skates touching ice for the first time in months, there’d at least be 10 minutes of clearing out cobwebs before players start to click. That was not the case for Kilrich Industries in its season opener in the Whitehorse Oldtimer Hockey League at the Canada Games Centre on Wednesday.
Not only did Kilrich (1-0-0) score all five of their goals in the first period, they were on the board in 35 seconds of play, as they held on for a 5-3 win over the Performance Centre Turbos (0-1-0).
“There was a bit of a loss of focus there – and a loss of energy,” said Kilrich captain Sean McAskie of the second period. “A lot of guys missed camp this year.”
Opening the scoring for Kilrich was Dave Milne, finding a gap on Turbos substitute goalie Brandon Kelly on a pass out from the corner. Getting the assist was McAskie – his first of two – and Blayne Monahan, who went on to score the game winner with 7:46 left in the first.
Also scoring for Kilrich was Derek Torgerson, Marcel Barrault and Charles Broadhagen, who also picked up an assist for a two-point night.
It was all Turbos in the second (of two periods) with two goals to add to captain Blaine “Bubba” Demchuk’s unassisted, first period goal.
Finding the back of the net in the second was Ron Sumanik, assisted by Jerry Wald and Demchuk, jamming in his own rebound as Kilrich goalie Joe Sparling went to cover the puck. Lawrence Ignace then further closed the gap with short slapper in front on a pass out the corner from Carl Burgess.
“We had three lines established, so you knew who you’re playing with and there’s not so much running around looking for a position,” said Demchuk. “People weren’t in position as much as they should have been, but it’ll come together. A lot of guys haven’t skated yet this year – there’s 40 games (this season) and everyone makes the playoffs.”
The two captains took quite different routes in their selection processes. While McAskie looked for amiable players to build team spirit off-ice, Demchuk went more for players he dislikes on-ice.
“This team has a lot of get-up-and-go,” said Demchuk. “I picked the team and basically it’s a lot of guys that I hate to play against because they’re aggressive, they’re good diggers and they don’t like losing. But they can take a loss.
“It’s a fun group; I’ve played with a lot of these guys in the past, and it’s just a good bunch.
“We gave it until the end, and we see a lot of smiles in this room, so it’s a good thing.”
“I picked for a good room and that’s absolutely it,” said McAskie. “There’s no complaining yet, but we’ll see what it will be like 39 games from now.”
Like the Whitehorse Women’s Hockey League, the oldtimer league is expanding this season. After more than 10 years with eight teams, the league will now have nine with the addition of the Terra Firma Art Company team.
“We had an unprecedented number of registrations for oldtimers this year, so after much deliberation we decided to expand,” said league president Bernie Adilman. “We’ve had pretty good success with new guys and the league has a good reputation, so guys just want to come out and have fun.
“We have lots (of players) and we still have a healthy waiting list – that’s what we wanted to make sure we had. You can still get on it, but by this point you’d be on the bottom of it and your chances of getting called up this year are not very good.”
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