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NEWSLETTER O50  DECEMBER 2012

MEN’S O50 HOCKEY MID-SEASON 2012-13 REPORT
Once upon a time there was a league where 170 men, 50 years of age and older, played hockey. And in this league, every player was Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby, making a daring end-to-end rush, deking out the entire opposition and scoring a highlight reel goal that will play on TSN in perpetuity.
 And the defencemen,  all Bobby Orr, Paul Coffey, or maybe Erik Karrlson’s. A solid wall that puts fear into every opposing forward’s heart, each of them able to dominate the play and control it at their leisure.
Oh, and the goalies!  Every one of them a Martin Brodeur or Erik Lundvquist, standing on their heads making that spectacular, game-saving save…
That’s our O50 Men’s hockey league, if only in the hearts and minds of those who play in it.
But let’s get back to reality.
We’re now halfway through the season,  and as we near the Christmas break, let’s take a review of what’s gone on the first half.
In our TUESDAY league, we have 3pts separating the four teams.  After an early season roll, the Gold team has gone 2-3 since some trades were made, and this has allowed the other teams to get back into the proverbial race.
On any given week, one team can beat the other, and that never goes over well with any player!
TOP SCORER
A close race goes on for the leading scorer, with Tim Pitre and Yvan Bédard at the head of the pack, but any number of others are nipping at their heels, and it’s going to go down to the wire before it’s all settled.
TOP GOALIE
The four guys tending nets are doing a great job keeping the pucks out, and their respective averages show proof of it. Our newest member to the goalie fraternity, Greg Dorey, currently sits tied with our oldest member, John Kohli, for the best GAA at 1.90.  Albert Friend and Don Allen are also posting very good numbers, and overall team defence is going to help determine the winner of these four.
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In our more competitive WEDNESDAY league, the dust is still settling after a number of player moves to try and balance things out. Ask any team but the one in last place, and they’ll tell you their team is the weakest. One of the most interesting things about this division is the overall lack of attention to team defence. Scoring goals is what’s on everyone’s mind, and the goalies often find themselves on an island of rubber pucks.
The first team to figure out that “offense puts people in the stands, but defence wins championships” will be the team with the best chance at winning consistently.
TOP SCORER
For a while, White’s Wayne Hill was running away with the scoring race, but since a number of player moves, he’s seen his production drop and a couple of other guys starting to close the gap. Perrenial  Top Scorer Glenn Andrews of the Black J’s, and newcomer to the league, Red’s Dave Perras, are having solid seasons. And mention has to be made of Blue’s Rick Tudin, perhaps suffering from a lack of depth in the ‘help’ department, but doing yoeman’s work carrying the Blue’s offensive load.
TOP GOALIE
Rookie to the league, Dan Gibson, coming back from injuries, was thrown to the wolves early and often, seeing more rubber than…(this is a respectable place of business, so we’ll skip the Trojan factory  one-liners  or anything to do with houses of ill repute, and complete it with)…a tire manufacturing plant. Unfortunately, he’s suffered another injury and has been gone for a few weeks, (we hope it’s not because of all the work he’s had to do?) His 2.00 GAA is tied for tops for now.
White’s Derek ‘Soupy’ Suprunchuk was casually ‘floating sky high’ through the early part of the season, but has since started to have to earn his keep. Let’s hope that any ‘weed’s that were’ growing’ can be ‘smoked’ out, and he’ blazes’ through the rest of the season like he has to date. 2.00 GAA
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FRIDAY league this year saw an expansion to six teams, and to date, it’s proving fairly successful. Only six points separate first to last, and as we’re still seeing new players enter the league, the overall team compositions still have some work to be done.
Unfortunately, the injury bug has been particularly nasty this year for the Friday group, with 5 players being forced to the shelf for indefinite or season-ending periods. This has caused the increased need for the use of spares, and / reshuffling of the teams, and this in turn is playing some havoc with the week to week results.
 However, it’s understood that with any expansion, there are always some hurdles that need to be jumped.
It’s impossible to pick any favourite to win it all this year. The ‘finish in first and not win the championship’ jinx will be very much alive and kicking in this league. 
TOP SCORER
There’s a good, tight race going on for the top scorer, with Remax’s Brian Gunnell and Green’s Andrew Raven leading the pack.  But there are a number of others close behind, and each team has at least one representative in the top 10. This one has a ways to go before a winner is declared.
TOP GOALIE
As always, goaltending is going to be a major factor in any team’s success or failure, whether it’s Minor hockey, Junior’s, the Pros, or when you’re 50+ years of age. The group of guys we have are all playing very well and are integral components to the league’s success.
Remax’s Eric Steigerwald is playing lights out so far and has a sparkling 1.56 GAA. He’s earning that huge pay raise we gave him from last year, (ok, so 0% of nothing is nothing, but humour me here, haha), and he’s setting a fine example for the other ‘tenders to follow.
Rookie Trevor Hutchinson has fooled everyone with that ‘old school’ equipment and stand-up style, but with a 1.90 GAA, the joke’s on the shooters so far.
New score keeper and Blues’ goalie Pete ‘Shaky’ Albert is playing steady if unspectacular hockey; Red’s Terry ‘Yukon’ Sewell  looks great, and helped us out playing a number of games early on for the Grey team as well; newcomer Dan “Feel the Love” Gratton is battling some injuries but doing his part; and last year’s rookie sensation and Top Goalie, White’s Mike 'Tuesday' Gosselin, make up the other masked men.
Mike appears to be suffering a little of that sophomore’s jinx, but in fairness, his White’s line-up has been decimated with injuries and absences, and we’re still trying to patch holes in them.
To ALL of the guys playing in every league, keep on giving it your best. The game is only as good and as fun as you make it. Winning is always more fun than losing, but being there is the best reward of all.