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These childhood mates have played a Christmas hockey game collectively for 50 years


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These childhood mates have played a Christmas hockey game collectively for 50 years

For the past 50 years a group of childhood friends in Coquitlam, B.C., have gathered to play ball hockey at Christmas.Two of the ‘three originals,’ Cameron Irvine, left, and Keith Jones, right, face off at their 50th Christmas game. (CBC)For the past 50 years a group of childhood friends in Coquitlam, B.C., have gathered to play…

These childhood mates have played a Christmas hockey game collectively for 50 years

For the previous 50 years a team of childhood mates in Coquitlam, B.C., have gathered to play ball hockey at Christmas.

Two of the ‘three originals,’ Cameron Irvine, left, and Keith Jones, true, face off at their 50th Christmas game. (CBC)

For the previous 50 years a team of childhood mates in Coquitlam, B.C., have gathered to play ball hockey at Christmas.

On Christmas Day in 1969, after items had been opened, the moms of Cameron Irvine, Keith Jones and David Edwards sent the boys out of the home so that they would per chance presumably fair put collectively Christmas dinner.  

“‘Inch play hockey outside.’ That used to be a chorus in Canada. And we never came succor in,” mentioned Irvine, who used to be eight at the time.

Fifty years and plenty of existence changes later, the three childhood mates are level-headed taking part in a ball hockey game at Christmas. They call themselves the “three originals.”

As the players moved away, obtained married and had teens, the day of the beloved annual game changed from Christmas Day to the Saturday after Christmas. Others have joined the tradition over the years, including teens, other halves, grandchildren, neighbours and mates. 

This Saturday, Irvine, Jones, Edwards and varied teammates which have joined thru the years met up at the Westhill Park lacrosse field in Port Peevish near the Coquitlam boundary to play.

A ceremonial centre-line ball descend by used Vancouver Canuck Jyrki Lumme officially marked 50 years of tradition: 

Extinct Vancouver Canuck Jyrki Lumme drops the road hockey ball(s) at an annual vacation game in the Tri-Cities house. 0: 11

Hockey fever

Irvine says he, Jones and Edwards had been loopy about hockey from the very beginning. The Canucks came to Vancouver in 1970 as an NHL expansion team and hockey fever used to be in the air, mentioned Irvine. 

“Around Christmastime and following Christmas you had been getting hundreds hockey-connected provides to exit and play,” he mentioned.

The boys first played the Christmas ball hockey game on Morrison Avenue, a transient road in Coquitlam.

Cameron Irvine used to be eight when the ‘normal three’ played their first Christmas hockey game in 1969. (CBC)

Over the years, the game has been played at diverse locations, including an most most essential college automobile parking relate and a tennis courtroom they needed to shovel.

The annual game even has an MVP trophy. When he used to be in Grade 8, Irvine created a 30-centimetre trophy of used Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jim Rutherford in pottery class. Now 45 years stale, the MVP trophy has been thru loads and has wished extra than a diminutive bit glue. However the players cherish it. 

“It started off as a diminutive of a shaggy dog fable, but then it became important and individuals if truth be told desired to attract conclude this thing. And so now it travels from family to family every body year,” Irvine mentioned. 

The coveted MVP trophy is a likeness of used Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jim Rutherford. (CBC)

50 years later

Jones hasn’t disregarded a single game since that fateful Christmas Day in 1969. For the closing 33 years, he has made the plod from Calgary to Coquitlam. Jones says that while he moves a diminutive bit slower than he inclined to, the game is most essential to him.

“Or now not it’s if truth be told all about our friendship and reconnecting. Simply having a correct time. And after all winning the game,” he mentioned.

Over the years, the Christmas hockey team has grown. Little kids, other halves and varied relatives of the traditional players have joined in the game. (CBC)

Irvine says he never imagined the tradition would level-headed be alive 50 years later. As the childhood mates obtained married and moved, they figured the outmoded game would at closing come to an conclude.

“However I mediate that thru individuals interesting away, it in actuality bolstered things…. Or now not it’s if truth be told in regards to the connection … till the ball drops, after which it’s on.”

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