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Local Oldtimers tournament adds women’s division for first time

There was a little different look to this year’s Oldtimers hockey tournament in Amherstburg.

For the first time, the annual event which was held at the Libro Centre this past weekend, had a ladies division.

“Women’s hockey has become so big over the past 10 years. It was the right time to do it,” said tournament organizer Blake Vandenham.

The dominant team in the four-team ladies division was the entry of Stick Figures. In a Saturday night matchup, and despite having just nine skaters, they beat HITS, 5-0.

According to coach Laura Neufeld, Stick Figures is a tournament team as the rest of the time the players compete in leagues throughout the county.

“We win most of our tournaments that we go in, we click as a team. We’ve been together for about five years now,” said Neufeld.

Neufeld admits that the popularity of the new Professional Women’s Hockey League has added a lot of interest to the sport for women and that many of those who suit up for Stick Figures have been playing competitively for many years.

There were 28 teams at this year’s Ernie Rymar Memorial Tournament hosted by the Amherstburg Oldtimers. The most competitive was the Open Division for 19-and-older which had several former local junior players, amongst them former Amherstburg Admirals assistant coach Eric Shaw.

“I think this is our 41st year and for the most part the divisions have been even,” said Vandenham.

Besides the Open group, there were three divisions with four teams each in the 50, four teams in the 60 and four more in the Rec division.

Duffy’s from Michigan was the only entry from the U.S. but several teams made the trip from outside the region including Tillsonburg, Watford and Chatham.

“Last year we had an alumni dinner for the players and their wives at the Sportsmen’s Club and we want to do that again this year,” said Vandenham.

There were a lot of colourful names at this year’s tournament which began Friday night and wrapped up with championship games on Sunday. Honey Jack’s, Young Bucks, Doggersz and Dysfunctional all vied for the titles.

In the past proceeds have gone to Jump Start, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Amherstburg Miracle Baseball League.

Local Oldtimers tournament adds women’s division for first time

By Fred Groves





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