Hockey fans descended on the Nakusp Arena Dec. 19 and 20 to take part in Nakusp’s annual Falcon Cup.
For the most part, the cup is a fundraiser for the Minor Hockey League here in the village. From sales at the concession stand, raffles, 50/50 tickets, and the beer gardens, the weekend’s biggest fund raiser, everything goes toward minor hockey.
“This is our fourth year doing it, so everything is pretty easy now,” said Zac Wethal, one of the event’s co-organizers. “It’s just collecting registration forms and trying to get people to do it on time, which is impossible.”
If you want to register for the cup, the rule is pretty simple: you either have to have played minor hockey in Nakusp, or are living here now.
Players came from all over to take part. One player came all the way from England, where he is currently a student.
“There are a lot of new faces from guys that used to play minor hockey here, and haven’t skated in four or five years, and are coming back and are playing in this tournament, which is great.” said Wethal.
He knows eventually the older players won’t want to keep playing, so those spots have to be filled. The more new faces that can be drawn into the game, the better.
Normally, there is a theme for the cup. There wasn’t one this year, but Wethal has some ideas for next year.
“I’d like to do tournament champs, if we have five teams,” he said. “Another idea is the captains all be Hascarls, because there are so many of them that play in the tournament, we’ll just get all of them to be the captain. You just try to come up with things throughout the year.”
There were six teams this year, the most yet. For some, it’s their first time taking part. For others, they’ve been playing in the cup as long as it’s been around.
Chad Hicks is one of those players.
“It’s tiring. It’s a long weekend, but it feels good.” he said.
Hicks said along with helping minor hockey, there is one thing the winning team gets excited about.
“It’s bragging rights for all of us guys that grew up together,” he said. “And it’s fun.”
Along with cheers from the crowd, there was a bit of good-natured ribbing, and lots of laughs.
Men of all ages took part in the cup, the oldest, Bob Treherne, will be 70 on Dec. 23. He’s still playing hockey, twice a week with his friends. His wife, Pat, was in the stands cheering him on.
“It’s great, every year it gets better,” she said. “This is the fourth year, and I think there’s more people coming, and there’s a hum in town, it’s different. It’s nice and it’s exciting.”
One thing about the cup she really enjoys is it seems to bring people together for the holidays.
“A lot of the young people have had to move away for jobs or education, and they all come home for Christmas, and this is part of it.”
The final game of the weekend was the Older Timers White team against the Midget Black team.
It was a nail biter.
At first, it looked like the Old Timers had the game clinched. They were up 3-1 by the break in the middle of the game. Midget Black seemed to have gotten a second wind though, scoring again, and again, ending the second period with a tie. By the end of the game, Midget Black made use of that second win, finishing with a sore of 5-3.
“It feels pretty good,” said Jesse Cann, one of the team’s captains. “You work hard all weekend for this, and it was a hard fought game, and we battled back.”
Cann said he and the others would be celebrating after they left the dressing room.
“Some of us have to work tomorrow, but the hangover is worth it.”