BY JACOB PACHECO
With the winter season upon us, community centres around the GTA have begun their local scrimmage hockey games.
In this case, the Carmen Corbasson Mississauga community centre has begun its traditional hockey pickup games for the 2017-18 winter season. This seasonal tradition has been going strong for what is going to be its seventh year in a row. These pick-up games start every weekend on Saturday night at 11 p.m. and go until 1 a.m. and are open to ages anywhere from late teens (16 and above). Whether you come to play for fun or not, it’s all about making friends and having a good time playing the sport you love.
The requirements are limited, come with your equipment ready and your spot booked and you’re ready to go. There are also a few rules to go by and to know before coming to play. There is almost no physical contact allowed to decrease the risk of injuries on the ice, along with keeping your stick down at all costs to avoid the risk of any facial injuries. There are also no referees involved and no real keeping track of the scores and official penalties throughout the two hours of play time. It’s all about having fun.
This weekly hockey tradition is mainly attended by family and long-time friends, who catch up and have a laugh or two before stepping onto the ice. Although, newcomers are always welcome with open arms as some weeks there are times when more players are needed because some regulars cannot show up for personal/family reasons. That’s when wanted players who are a quick call away are needed to complete a full five-on-five game and to have a few substitutes on both teams.
Clark Grant, one of the rare teenagers who come out to play every so often with his dad says, “I play for my high school team in the area, so I try and come out and get some extra practice in as much as I can.”
People can come show up for multiple reasons, whether it’s just to get a little practice in, play for fun, or too just get that weekly dose of physical activity to stay in shape.
Although they play this game for fun, sometimes that “fun” slips the minds of some players and pace of the game intensifies with the teams battling harder, trying to score more and more.
“Of course the game intensifies, but in the end, it’s all just for fun and that’s what I’m all about,” said Joe Mantesano, who has attended almost weekly for four years. This tradition looks to continue and continue to get stronger for the years to come, every Saturday night, during the winter season, at the Mississauga Community Centre.
For more local pickup hockey games in your area go to: