I don’t know the exact date of my first real hockey game. However, I was eight and that would have made it the fall of ’72, which in hindsight is a pretty cool time to have begun playing hockey in this country. My first team was St. Anne’s in the Peterborough Church League (there was a rival league known as City League at the time but I think the Church League was by far the bigger league at that point in time). We played at Northcrest Arena on Saturday mornings and being just “little punks” (a favourite term of an older sister), we played on half ice.
The only other detail I remember is that at the end of my first shift, the buzzer went. Even then, for little punks, the shifts were preset at two minutes I believe. As the more experienced (or perhaps just smarter) kids on the ice headed for the bench (which is to say everyone but me), I just stood there because I didn’t realize the buzzer meant it was time to change. I was in the big leagues baby and was clearly having trouble keeping up.