Experience wins out at annual charity contest

Geezers skate past Chicks, 7-2, in fun-filled benefit hockey game

Posted: Monday, November 28, 2005

Score one for the aged.

Geezers In Breezers upended Chicks With Sticks 7-2 on Sunday in the annual hockey game benefiting the Culture Club Hockey Program. The program helps local children who may not have the finances or previous hockey experience but would like to get involved in the sport.

While the Geezers, a collection of men in their 50s and older, controlled play and won the game, the majority of the crowd was happy to enjoy the fun and goofy atmosphere.

"That's what it's all about," Chicks player Valerie Bue said. "Fun and raising money for the program."

About 125 people attended the light-hearted contest at Treadwell Ice Arena. Many of the Chicks With Sticks, a team comprised of Juneau's women's hockey players, came to the rink with skirts and tu-tus over their hockey pants.

In addition to the outfits, there was a contest for the best mullet during the second-intermission. The winner received a white tank-top and a CD from 80s hair-band Great White.

"It's great fun," Geezers member and game founder Bill Spear said. "It's just a nice way to end the first part of the season. The Geezers and Chicks, a lot of them are really new to the game or still developing their skills so it's really fun."

As for the game, the Geezers opened the game with three straight goals in the first period. David Teal scored twice.

Michelle Kaelke cut the lead to 3-1, when she deposited a pass from Molly Box into the goal.

The Geezers added two more goals in the second period, before Beathe Mertle-Posthumus opened the third period with a brilliant wristshot that beat the goalie high to his glove side. Janelle White assisted on the goal as the Chicks sliced the Geezers lead to 5-2.

Teal responded by completing his hat trick and then some, scoring the final two goals to seal a 7-2 victory.

Teal lead the Geezers with four goals. Spear, Ben Van Alen and Joe Geldhof each recorded a goal and two assists, while Gary Fisher chipped in with an assist. The win avenged a 2-0 loss to the Chicks in last year's inaugural game.

"I don't think the score showed the evenness of the game," Spear said. "Those girls are good players and there are a lot of women that are really good. At an eyelash, the breaks just went our way this year. Last year they didn't."

While the Chicks came up short on the scoreboard, the large women's roster and enthusiastic play served as a testament to the growing interest in women's hockey.

Kaelke didn't start playing hockey until three years ago when the rink first opened. Since she started playing, the Juneau Douglas Ice Association's women's hockey program has ballooned into two leagues to accommodate all the new players.

"We have over 100 women playing right now," Kaelke said. "It's great women-time together."

• Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at sports@juneauempire.com

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