GOLETA, Calif. -- "Was that fun, or what?!?" Shouts like these were hollered on the main rink inside the Ice in Paradise on Sunday. The rink hosted their annual Presidents' Day Weekend senior hockey tournament.
The tournament features teams named Ventura Fog, Ottawa Canadians, The Old Buzzers, Colorado Oldtimers, Seattle Seniles and Santa Barbara Old Hacks.
Participants played in three different age categories: 50 and over, 60 and up and the most senior, 70 plus.
The tournament started Thursday evening with Minnesota Limited beating the home team Santa Barbara Old Hacks 6 to 3. It will conclude Sunday evening with Bottinators taking on Ventura Fog.
Sunday morning Palm Desert Duck Hogs and Santa Barbara Old Hacks players laced up their skates, they tightened their pads and took the ice reliving their childhood.
David Kahn and Rick Lohnes are teammates for Santa Barbara Old Hacks. Kahn recalls, “When I was about six or seven growing up in Princeton, New Jersey. I went to the Ivy League rink there. Learned to play. And I’ve played ever since.”
Lohnes added, “This is an incredible tournament this guy put together. We’ve got great ice and he brought in good competitive teams.”
The players take the games seriously. Lohnes said, “Most of these guys have so many injuries they play through the pain the surgeries and everything that it takes to get back onto the ice because they love the game.”
The players said the glory of scoring, makes their pain easier when you’re playing in the 70 years old and over division.
“I’m 84, and I’m having the time of my life," said Lohnes. "And these guys just make it easy for me to enjoy myself and I try to give back as much as I can, whatever the body will do for us.”
Pam McElwain took her grandkids with her to cheer on her friends on the Duck Hogs. She said, “That’s absolutely amazing that they can get up and off the ice like that. How healthy is that, that they can still get up and off the ice? I know we went to lunch with Bruce who’s the goalie, and he said a lot of these guys don’t have teeth.”
The final score, a tie 5 to 5, which meant the Ducks Hogs won the tournament with the best record 2-0-1.
But for all four teams in the 70 and over division they’ve all won because as Kahn put it, “You don’t stop playing hockey because you get old, you get old because you stop playing hockey.”