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photo by Lydia Stern

Town league hockey shaping up for the 2016 season

Introducing“Not-so-fast” division

by Than Acuff

Here we go! It’s on! Let’s do this! What would Jesus do!

Wait, what?

I bet Jesus would have played hockey. The sport, in its purest form, is firm but fair, and I believe that is the gospel Jesus was sharing with the world.

The Golden Rule definitely applies in hockey.

Speaking of hockey and Jesus…

photo by Lydia Stern
photo by Lydia Stern

Another season of coed town league hockey (and the anniversary of the birth of Jesus) is approaching and I couldn’t be more psyched. Actually, Jesus’ birthday and the opening day of town league are about a month away but that’s just how psyched I am about both.

One of my favorite sayings involves Jesus, hockey and my favorite team growing up, the Philadelphia Flyers.

Jesus Saves! Tim Kerr scores on the rebound.

Crested Butte town league hockey is ramping up for the start of the 2016 season on Tuesday, January 5, with registration opening on Tuesday, December 1. But nothing can get going without the hard work of the people behind the scenes. As I write this it is 41 degrees outside, which makes for tough times when trying to make ice. Nevertheless, Crested Butte parks supervisor Pete “Icetro” Curvin and the crew have started the process and will continue to work diligently to get the rink open.

“We’re making ice and will continue through the holidays,” says Curvin. “We’re shooting for an opening on December 14.”

Furthermore, director of operations for the West Elk Hockey Association (WEHA) Jack Gibbons is in the midst of organizing the upcoming season and there are some potential changes afoot. After receiving some feedback and convening with a committee, WEHA is offering two divisions for town league. There will be the “fast” division and the “not-so-fast” division.

“I’ve heard through town and last year that new players think it’s too fast and they can’t be a part of it,” says Gibbons. “The not-so-fast division can help players get started in town league and could be a good way to grow the program.”

If 20 or more players register for the “not-so-fast” division, WEHA will create the division and proceed. According to Gibbons, around 40 players would be great so they could make four teams. If fewer than 20 register, then WEHA will continue with the usual one division.

Either way, town league is primed to go off once again. Last year, 130 players registered and divided into nine teams. Gibbons hopes to grow that this year.

“I’ve got enough ice time for 10 teams to play,” says Gibbons.

In addition, with so many players involved in the fall league in Gunnison, town league hockey just keeps on gaining steam as numerous players come into the season with two months of hockey already under their belts, er, breezers.

And while some changes are being proposed, rest assured stalwart Crested Butte town league hockey players and fans, the ultimate goal is to maintain Crested Butte town league hockey tradition.

“Most of the players want to keep town league hockey the same,” says Gibbons. “It should be a small town hockey program.”

Town league action will be Tuesday through Thursday evenings starting January 5. The coed A league will continue as well, with games in Crested Butte Mondays and in Gunnison on Wednesdays.

Registration for town league hockey opens Tuesday, December 1 with the infamous annual draft day on Wednesday, December 23 at the Brick Oven. Registration and all additional information about town league hockey can be found at wehockey.org.

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