Hey there ya Damn Kids! Have you had enough of your participation trophies and not keeping score? Are you itching to here another story from your cantankerous friend OldManDan? Well hitch up yer britches and saddle up because it is time to hear about another Beer League beauty!

This week we are traveling to the Tri-Cities in Washington State. It’s a place so small that they had to combine three towns to call it a city. We have another tendy this week.

Meet Kyle, he’s a tendy that is co-host of the Twitter handle @BuriedPuck and the associated Cascadia Podcast. He hails from Washington by way of Nevada. Kyle grew up and found the game via the Mighty Ducks and video games. The poor guy didn’t even have an ice rink in his town.

That all changed when a friend named Marc relocated from Quebec. That set in motion commuting to ice hockey and summer inline skating around the town. Inline had the side benefit of making him a better skater. Ah, the ’90s when you could wear pants big enough to smuggle a terrier and not get weird looks when rolling inlines on the sidewalk, but I digress.

He was a varsity skater in high school and went on to play the game in Wiesbaden, Germany. But, more on that below.  He loves playing the game, the people that play the game, is lucky enough to work with the game and has plans to do it as long as his body allows.

Check his answers, goalies there is some good stuff here. Also, older players and folks that feel you are too old to learn the sport, he calls BS on that right now!

Best Hockey Memory: 

I’d say, was anything within my time playing in Germany for the Wiesbaden Vikings was incredible but I’m going to share one particular story. I served in the Army for 10 years and was constantly moving, roughly every two years. I always made sure my gear was with me. When I first got to Germany, my gear wasn’t supposed to show up for 3 weeks but the Vikings needed a goalie for their inline summer season and they dressed me up in random gear just to get by on until my first game. My gear showed up and I started playing games with them. I think we went on a 13 game winning streak and ended up winning the championship. That was my first time ever taking first place in hockey. I’m including a picture of that day, I like to call the picture “The Day Hockey Gave Back”. I’ve never been scouted or played at any higher level than B in beer league. But I’ve put a lot into the sport because I love it. Literal blood, sweat, and tears. I’ve lost teeth, I’ve broken bones, torn muscles, the list goes on. That day, as I raised that little cup above my head, I felt like hockey finally returned the love.

Fears: 

I play goalie, so there’s all kinds of fears involved, most of it mental, believe it or not. As a goalie, you’re the last line of defense and ultimately, goals allowed are your fault. But that’s a terrible way to look at it, don’t ever think that if you’re a goalie. It’s easy to fall into that when you’ve allowed 6, 7, 10…it happens, especially in beer league. It’s easy to forget that you’re doing this for fun. Nobody likes losing and nobody wants to feel like they let the team down. Just gotta remember to have fun.

Current Team: 

Right now I play in a B league in Tri-Cities, WA. Each team has their own group of friends that usually gets redrafted each season, so each team mostly looks the same throughout. I always enjoyed the post game bar run that each team has. It seems like every team has their “place” to go after the games and it’s always a fun time to share a beer with your hockey buds and talk about all those goals I let in!

On Taking Up The Game As An Adult: 

It’s never too late to learn to play hockey and it’s never too late to come back if you’ve taken a long break. I’ve seen guys start playing and loving the game at the age of 60. The great thing about hockey and the people in these older beers leagues is only a small handful people take it too seriously. The rest are just there to have a good time and get a little exercise. People are generally very supportive and will help you learn the game so you can enjoy it like everyone else.

So, take it from Kyle. Get your friends, family and whoever wants to be involved out onto the ice or into the bar to share a drink and watch a game. #GrowTheGame.

Keep your head up,

OldManDan

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