January 15th, 2021

Memories from the hockey rink


By M. Gordon Hunter on November 27, 2020.

My position is goalie. I started playing indoors at 13. At 15 Saskatoon Aden Bowman won the Saskatchewan Provincial Midget A Championship. At 17 I was an All-Star with Saskatoon Aden Bowman at the Juvenile level. In 1966, my first year of university, I was awarded a Molson Hockey Scholarship.
I obtained my Bachelor of Commerce in 1970 and my PhD in 1992. We have been able to live in many interesting places including Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. Currently, I am a retired Professor Emeritus. But, with regards to hockey perhaps I should start at the beginning.
I was born in Moose Jaw, Sask., on Jan. 13, 1948. We moved to Unity, Sask., and then to Saskatoon. We now had indoor plumbing and I started playing organized hockey. But more importantly, in the Grade 4 class was a girl, Shirley May McGall. She would become my wife many years later.
When I was in Grade 8, I was selected to play in the all-star game for my school. I will always remember skating out on the ice with one thousand screaming students in the stands. It was an indoor rink where the Saskatoon Quakers played.
When I graduated in 1970 Shirley and I got married two days after our last exams. I took a job with Ontario Hydro in Toronto and Shirley started her teaching career. For the two years we lived there I played for two teams. Ontario Hydro had its own league. I also played for Caledonia Pharmacy. At one point we won 17 games in a row. One of our players who had been playing in Italy asked me to consider playing there. I am sorry now, many years after, that I chose not to go.
At Christmas 1972 we moved to Regina, Sask. While I was studying for my PhD, I played intramural hockey at the University of Regina. I was the only professor who played. I did not play goal. I only scored one goal during my time playing intramurals. Naturally, I still have the puck. We were in the offensive zone and the puck came to me at the blue-line. I blasted it at the goal, and it went in. The goalie at the time was in one of my classes. He was accused by his teammates of letting it in to get a good grade. He defended himself by saying he just mistimed it. He said it came towards him floating like a butterfly!
When we lived in Regina from 1987 to 1992 the Jets played in Winnipeg. A few times we would make a long weekend of it and travel there to watch them play. I would send a note to the boys’ school. It said, “Due to our ongoing pursuit of the ultimate educational experience our sons will not be attending school on Friday.” After a few times of sending this note I was asked to attend a meeting with the boys’ school principal. He noted what we were doing and asked if it would be possible for him to join us the next time!
I learned a lot of lessons when playing hockey. I learned that hockey is a team effort. So is life. My most important team is my family. Shirley and I are a team. We work very well together. Every team needs a captain and I know she is our captain! Over the years our team has grown. Our two sons are married, and we now have grandchildren.
This is an except from M. Gordon Hunter’s book, “The Older I Get The Better I Was,” which features hockey experiences as related by an assortment of local citizens.

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