Michael Briones photo Panters 65 puts the Old Coasters 65 on the defensive at the September Classic held at Oceanside Place, Sept. 21. The Panters won 8-1.

Old timers show flash on the ice

Another successful Panter September Classic is in the books.

More than a thousand people gathered at Oceanside Place last week to watch players 55 to 80 years old play Canada’s favourite sport. Participants came from all over the country, with some hailing from the U.S.

The three-day event provided not only an opportunity to play hockey but also a social gathering for the participants. The camaraderie, according to some of the players, is one of the motivating factors that bring them back to Parksville each year. They also took time to enjoy other amenities the region has to offer, such as golf and fishing.

Most people who have never watched players at this age, can’t believe the skating and skill level that the old timers bring to each game.

Some have played professional or Junior A, which others are simply recreational players who have played for many years.

The winners of this years event in each category were: Parksville Panters (55 years+), Edmonton Vintage (60+), Edmonton Vintage (70+), and Nanaimo (75+). Players received jackets.

The Panters host two tournament each year. The next one is the January Junket, set to take place Jan. 9-10. Those who missed the September Classic are invited to catch the action in January.

Al Rourke and Glenn Abbott, co-chairs of the tournament, thanked all the sponsors, without whose help the tournament could not take place.

— NEWS Staff/Al Grier

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