Adult hockey is sometime referred to as “beer league”, but what if your ice time is at 7 AM? “Coffee league” perhaps? Every Thursday morning, a little over 20 guys wake up in the wee hours of the morning, grab their equipment bags, and head over to the Goulbourn Recreation Centre for a spirited game of recreational hockey.
Started by John Rasmussen in 2009, the origins of this group came out of an adult hockey skills program that was run by the Bell Sensplex in Kanata. John took the concept one step further than mere hockey skills, and arranged to have instructors act as coaches to help the group learn the positional play and tactics of the game. Thus was born the Raz Hockey League. In fall of 2011, the calibre of play and the pace of the game, is much improved since those early days of the program.
In the image at the top, John is the player in the red jersey, pressuring Reinhard Bauer in white.
A key component to the success of this group is Marc Switalski, pictured above. Marc acts as both the referee and a coach. A long time member of the teaching staff at the Bell Sensplex, Marc has been with the Raz Hockey League since the beginning. Marc also coaches with the Nepean Girls Hockey association and brings a wealth of hockey knowledge to the group. He freely shares this knowledge while he dishes out penalties to keep the players honest .
Goalie’s are critical for any game of hockey. Rec leagues are always concerned whether they have enough goalies and the change room breathes a sigh of relief when the goalies show up. Here are the two main goalies of the RHL, shown side by side.
I had the pleasure and opportunity to shoots the RHL game on September 15, 2011. Below are a sample of shots from that game.