Hockey is a sport not often considered a gentlemanís game, but that doesnít mean those playing it arenít gentleman. And this past weekend the gentleman of the Dawson Creek Oldtimers hockey club hosted the 34th Annual Grey Cup Tournament at Memorial Arena.
The Oldtimers themselves narrowly missed winning the championship after ending the round-robin tournament a point shy of Mullen/Land Transport out of Fort St. John.
Mullen won all three of their games in the Whiskey Division, topping Tumbler Ridge 10-1, the Dawson Creek Barons 6-2, and the Dawson Creek Fossils 12-0 in route to 23 points for the tournament.
Teams are awarded points based on games won, period wins, shootout wins, and least penalty minutes, with ten possible points for each game.
The Oldtimers went 3-0 in the Beer Division with a 4-3 win over Dawson Creekís KFC Old Posts, a 7-5 defeat of Rogerís Totems out of Fort St. John, and a 14-1 final score over Team Chetwynd.
More coveted than the tournament championship is the Max and Betty Swanson Memorial Award, which brings out the gentleman in all tourney participants. The award is given to the most sportsmanlike team in memory of Max, a legendary Dawson Creek player in his own right, and his wife Betty, a huge fan of the game. This yearís most sportsmanlike team was the Dawson Creek Barons, who finished the tournament with zero penalty minutes.
For some of the Dawson Creek Oldtimers they have nearly been part of the tournament since its inauguration.
Ted and Bill Schilds have played with the squad for thirty years, and Ian Eggertson a former member of the Senior Canucks in the 1970ís played in his 33rd tournament.
ďItís always a fantastic time, win or lose,Ē said Ted Schilds, who noted that many of the same teams have attended the annual event for over 20 years.
Fort St. John teams Mullen Transport and the Totems have participated for more than two decades, and the Fossils have been around for 30-plus years themselves. They will host their own tournament in January.
ďItís just a great group of guys to see come back every year and get to enjoy a good weekend of hockey with them,Ē said Schilds, who admits that he and his brother Bill have left the scoring to the younger guys but still enjoy hitting the ice nonetheless.