Senior hockey a tough game, and fans love it

November 25, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

When it comes to hockey, once a player comes up through the ranks, there’s limited opportunities once you hit a certain age.

Most junior level players will never advance beyond the junior level. Some obviously go to the OHA and eventually turn pro, but for most, if they want to continue playing the sport – it’s off to the beer leagues.

Hockey is a lot different when you have a job to go to in the morning, so most players like the beer leagues to keep active without the risk of injury.

For others, the thrill of full contact hockey in a highly competitive atmosphere still calls, even when they are getting too old for it.

That’s where the Western Ontario Athletic Association’s Senior League hockey comes into play.

It is all senior players who play to win. Most, if not all, are former players from high level leagues in Ontario. They are skilled and they are fast.

The WOAA was formed in 1942, to ensure small town sports could work together rather than operate independently. The WOAA acts independently from Hockey Canada, however the two organizations have a ‘special relationship’ when it comes to the sport in Ontario.

Currently there are 13 teams in the senior league representing small towns in south central Ontario. They play a 20-game regular season schedule before heading into the playoffs.

This a highly competitive league with full on contact. If you don’t keep your head up in this League, you’re going to lose it.

It’s a risky sport for players who have jobs and in many cases families to take care of. More than a few players have decided to give it up rather than risk an injury that could affect their job.

But many others stick it out for the love of the game.

The League has a lot of fans who come out to the games.

In Shelburne, the Muskies routinely get a good fan base in the stands during their Saturday night home games.

It is one of the few Leagues where senior level players can continue to play the sport like they always have.

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