OWEN SOUND, Ontario. — When my family and I moved to the Owen Sound area in 2001, I asked several people if there were opportunities to play pick up hockey, preferably with “older” guys. They all gave me the same name: Dave (Grizz) Manners. “Grizz” came from his resemblance to one time TV icon Grizzly Adams. First thing I knew, I was playing Sunday mornings, and Fridays at noon at the Bayshore, Wednesday afternoons in Shallow Lake, and Tuesdays in Flesherton. Grizz had other options for me, but at age 62, that was more than enough. He told me his record was 14 games in one week, often removing only his right skate in order to drive to the next game at a different rink.
We got together a group of 50+ year olds to play in some tournaments, but we didn’t have any uniforms. My wife, Suzy, designed a logo of a local hockey playing fisherman, which ended up looking remarkably like The Grizz. The Owen Flounders Old Timers Hockey Team was born and managed to win the very competitive 50+ Division in Georgetown in April of 2003. Some 19 years later, the Flounders entered the 65+ Division of the prestigious Ontario Senior Games held March 21st & 22nd, near Peterborough.
Having competed in these Games several years ago, playing coach Marcus Stone knew the competition would be very tough.
The fact that there would be two games on day one, and potentially three on day two would be a daunting task for guys in their late 60’s and even 70’s. He selected a core group from his Shallow Lake pick up players, and added a few stalwarts from Owen Sound, Meaford, and Wiarton.
The Flounders got off to a good start winning a close one against the Northumberland team. Game two saw the local boys down Brockville by a score of 7-2.
The following morning the Flounders again beat Northumberland but lost 1-0 to Brockville in a hard-fought game. However, their 3-1 record put them into the Championship game against Brampton, the winners of the other division. The Brampton team had won an all Canada 65+ championship, and were heavily favoured to win this tournament. The action was fast and furious, and the Flounders held a slim 1-0 lead on a goal by Bob Stroud, with 5 minutes remaining on the clock. Brampton came up with a big goal to knot the score at 1-1. Sudden death overtime loomed. Undaunted, with a minute left on the clock, Mark Kazarian fed a beautiful pass to the smooth skating Stroud who put the biscuit in the basket to go ahead 2-1. Brampton pulled their goalie for an extra attacker but, as he had throughout the tournament, goalie Brian Publuske stood tall, and the Flounders were gold medal winners. No doubt The Grizz was smiling down from somewhere.
Coach Stone remarked that it took an entire team effort to not only survive playing five games in two days, but to win Gold against all odds.
This is an unedited user writing submission. The views, information, or opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Best Version Media or its employees.