Tuesday, November 14, 2000
Steamboat Springs The ice belonged to an older breed of skater Sunday night as four teams in the senior hockey league opened the 2000-2001 season at Howelsen Ice Arena.
"I think everybody looks forward to it," local player Jace Romick said of the league that meets once a week on Sunday evenings.
"I think most of the players gear their whole day to playing hockey," he said.
This year, the league has four teams and about 60 players, said Donn Fowler, the senior league coordinator
The teams play one game every week. Each contest lasts about and hour and a half.
"It's a great workout, and it's a lot more fun than going to the gym," Romick said. "I can't think of a better way to stay in shape."
Romick, who says he is a newcomer to the sport, has played for the past three years. A former ski racer, Romick said playing hockey helps him keep his competitive edge. But he was quick to add the reason he enjoys playing in the senior league is the more relaxed and slower pace.
"That (the regular adult) league is filled with former high school and college players," Romick said. "The level of play is still impressive in the senior league, but it is a lot more laid back."
Romick's team, Nite's Rest/Winona's, won on the the first night of league play by topping Precision Pools and Spas in a 3-0 contest. Goals for Nite's Rest came from Romick, Jeff Ruff and J. Wenum. Thorman Idzahl recorded the first shutout of the new season.
"It's still too early to tell who the powerhouse teams are going to be," Romick said. "I think it will take two or three weeks to figure that out."
In the other game, it was Backdoor Sports/Skate Zone defeating Alpine Oral and Facial Surgery in a thrilling 2-1 game. Backdoor was led by goals from John Shipley and Gardner Flanigan. Alpine's only goal came from Chris Timmerman.
All of the players in the senior league are older than 35. Many of the players, however, play in an open league that also plays on Sunday evenings. That league consists of players older than 18 years of age.
The games in the senior league consist of two 20-minute running periods. The third period is 15 minutes long with stop time.
"Each of the first games ran just over an hour," Fowler said. "The games ended a little early, so we will look at it for the next couple of weeks and make sure we are making the most of our ice time."
The season will run 12 weeks this winter and is scheduled to end sometime in February.
"We will take Christmas Eve, New Year's Eve and the week of the Super Bowl off, so that will extend the season a little," Fowler said.
Last year, Alpine Oral and Facial Surgery won the league. This year, Nite's Rest and Backdoor are out to an early lead with 2 points each. Alpine and Precision Pools are still looking for their first points of the season.
But like Romick said, it is still early.
To reach John F. Russell call 871-4209 or e-mail email@example.com