Terry Cryderman, Teddy Cardwell, and Bill Bridge, members of the Old Growth Hockey Club. (Courtesy of Teddy Cardwell)

Terry Cryderman, Teddy Cardwell, and Bill Bridge, members of the Old Growth Hockey Club. (Courtesy of Teddy Cardwell)

‘We have a lot of fun’: Fernie’s Old Growth hockey going strong

When players Cryderman, Cardwell, and Bridge get together on a line, their ages equal 230 years

The Old Growth Hockey Club in Fernie is going strong.

One of the lines in the mostly 60-plus group of hockey players has a collective age of 230 years.

That line, when they come together, is made up of Teddy Cardwell (75), Terry Cryderman (75), and Bill Bridge (80).

The group of guys get together every Sunday night for a pickup game, and usually manage to get 22 to 25 guys out with goalies, Cardwell said. There’s about 35 players with Old Growth hockey in total, he said.

After a draw, the teams are decided, and Cardwell said it “works out pretty well.”

“It’s surprising how even the teams are sometimes… cause we’re all no good. That’s what my wife says,” Cardwell said.

The Old Growth hockey program has been in operation since 2014, and was initiated by Duane Jansen, who continues as a player and driving force in the organization. The group secured an ice-time slot at the Fernie Memorial Arena with Cryderman and Bridge helping to get them organized. They initially came together through ‘shinny’ pick up games on weekday mornings.

“There was kind of a need for it, you know. We were saying, gee, we should get together, and we got enough guys over 60, we can make a team.”

They managed to get themselves a 45 minute slot of ice time after the figure skaters on Sunday nights.

“And then we got to expand, and the figure skaters granted us another 15 minutes, so we got an hour,” Cardwell said.

“And that’s about enough for us. We’re pretty huffed and puffed out after an hour. An hour is about enough.”

He said they were surprised at how many guys were interested in playing.

“It was kind of a slow start, but once word got out, boy… we got all kinds of people wanting to get in, and we kind of almost have a little bit of a waiting list now.”

Cryderman has stepped down from organizing now, though Bridge is still involved, Cardwell said. And there are some new guys joining.

“It’s continuing on, which is good.”

He said it’s a lot of fun, a good mix of guys, and good exercise.

“It’s not too serious. We take it pretty easy. We have a lot of fun. That’s the main thing.”

“And even the young guys let us have the puck once in a while.”