A new hockey league in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland is giving older women a safe place to tie their skates once again.

Athletes in the women’s division of the Adult Hockey League are between 45 and 68 years old, and they jokingly say that some of the team names reflect that.

“My husband came up with the name ‘Hot Flashes,’ which I thought was very appropriate for our age group,” said Gretchen McConnell, who plays for the GeriHatricks.

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Susan Rittinger, who organized the new league, said playing with younger, faster women was starting to get a bit risky.

“The body is older; you can’t take it too. We don’t heal that fast, ”he told Global News.

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“I knew there were other women like me out there … someone just had to get them together.”

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Many of the players are very skilled, having played college hockey in college or raised on a rink.

Their passion for hockey is as strong as ever, they said before a game last month.

“I have to try to calm down a bit, you know, because I’m getting old,” said Susie Pattee, who plays defense for the Vintage Edition. “It is not an easy thing to do for me.”

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Pattee, who recalls a time when there were no leagues for girls to play hockey, said she is delighted to play against other women her age.

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“Little kids, they don’t want grandma in the dressing room, come on. Now I am 60 years old, ”he said.

There are 30 regular season games in the new women’s division.

Rittinger said it was gratifying to bring together so many athletes who might not have been able to play otherwise.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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