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Is it time for a 90+ hockey league in Comox Valley?

Doug Yeo, 89, scored two goals in the first two games of a hockey tournament at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.  - Scott Stanfield
Doug Yeo, 89, scored two goals in the first two games of a hockey tournament at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.
— image credit: Scott Stanfield

The referee handed Doug Yeo a puck in the dressing room after the game.

It was Yeo's second goal in as many games in a 55-plus men's hockey tournament at the Comox Valley Sports Centre.

Not bad for someone closing in on 90 who didn't set foot on a hockey rink for several decades between teendom and retirement.

Normally a left winger, the 89-year-old Second World War veteran from Comox played on the right side in Monday's contest. He played again Tuesday, and will again lace up the skates Friday. The tournament is comprised of four teams.

"It's great fun," said Yeo, who turns 90 next month. "We play on our regular ice that we have during the week. We don't have any extra ice. It works out really good.

"I'm going to start a new league," he adds with a laugh, in response to a teammate's quip about an over-90s league.

Yeo played a bit of shinny when he was a youngster growing up in Saskatchewan, but his hockey-playing days were put on hold at age 17 when he joined the air force.

"I was on Mosquitoes," said Yeo, who served overseas during the war. He recalls the planes were made of plywood from B.C.

"I was on night fighters, so we had plenty of scares. Anyway, I'm here and I'm playing hockey and I'm happy to do it."

Yeo never played junior hockey. In fact, he didn't resume playing until he retired at age 63.

But he's since played in numerous tournaments. Twelve years in a row, he's made the trip to Santa Rosa, Calif., for a senior world hockey tournament named after Snoopy, the Peanuts character.

"I play with whoever will have me," said Yeo, who studied dentistry after serving in the air force.

"I was in the dental school at UBC (University of British Columbia). I was a professional there."

Besides hockey, Yeo keeps fit by cycling and downhill skiing. Each year, he participates in Boomer's Legacy Bike Ride, a two-day, 240-kilometre pedal from the Comox Valley to Victoria.

He has a son, daughter and three grandsons in the Comox Valley.

"Nice to have them because I'm all by myself now," Yeo said. "It just keeps me going."

reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

 

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