AMHERST – The Amherst Adult Hockey League is back for a second season.
“We had four teams last year and we hope to get four to six teams this year,” said Greg Brennan, who is on the league’s organizing committee. “And we’d like to have about 15 players on each team because, throughout the year, there’s often only 12 guys who can make it to each game.”
The league was started by Tyler Arseneau last year, and this year he’s passing the torch to a five-person committee.
“Everybody appreciates what Tyler did last year,” said Brennan. “He took the initiative to start something that a lot of guys wanted for a lot of years but, for whatever reason, didn’t put in the effort and time to do it.”
Brennan played in the league last year and said it was a blast.
Tony Wood, who is also on the organizing committee, didn’t play last year.
“I’m playing this year because I watched them play and saw how much fun it could be. I felt I was missing out,” said Wood.
The league accommodates a wide range of talent and ages.
“It’s good hockey but, if I can play, anybody can play,” said Wood.
Last year’s league had players who were 20-years-old and players in the mid-40’s.
“We hope to get guys older than 45 this year,” said Brennan.
“And the league had guys who played with Junior A Ramblers to guys who play house league,” added Wood.
Wood says league hockey is better than pickup hockey.
“There’s referees, there’s someone doing the time clock, there’s someone dropping the puck, so there’s more structure than there is when you play pickup,” said Wood.
There’s also something to work towards.
“If you go out and throw sticks on the ice on a Sunday afternoon, it’s fun, but when you’re finished, you’re done, there’s no standings,” he added. “This way you know where you stand and there’s a purpose.”
The season is expected to wrap up in late March, and every team makes the playoffs.
“We don’t want people to lose interest if they’re not doing well and stop showing up, so that’s why every team has a chance to play in the playoffs,” said Wood.
Last year’s league included players from Springhill and Parrsboro.
“It would be nice to get some people from Sackville,” said Brennan.
The league has a no fighting policy
“If you fight you’re gone for the year,” said Brennan. “We had the same rule last year and we never had any problems.”
There is also a cap on penalty minutes.
“If you get too many penalties, first you get a suspension, and then you’re done for the year,” added Wood.
And there’s no slapshots.
The idea is to have fun and to be able to make it to work the next day without an injury.
“It’s competitive but it’s more fun than anything else,” said Brennan. “It’s fun to have the competitive edge but the camaraderie is still there.”
Games are played four times a week – Tuesday from 9:45 to 10:45 p.m., Thursday from 10 to 11 p.m., Sunday from 9:15 to 10:15 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 to 11:30 p.m.
Registration costs $325 for players and $165 for goaltenders. All games are played at Amherst Stadium and the he fee covers the cost of 30-regular season games and all playoff games, insurance, two referees, a timekeeper and the league website.
A table will be set up every Wednesday night from now until Oct. 9, from 7-9 p.m. where people can pay their registration fee. (Cash only)
The league will hold a draft after the final day of registration and the first game is Oct. 15.
“You can’t be drafted without paying and you can’t play if you’re not drafted,” said Wood.
For more information go to firstname.lastname@example.org
“Anybody who wants to sponsor a team for the league can contact the same e-mail,” said Brennan. “We encourage all the guys who played last year to come back and bring a couple people with them.”
(Registration payment will soon be available online at www.amherstadulthockey.com)