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Niagara Falls
Monday, May 20, 2024
Sports: Team of the Week: NOTL ‘sponge puck’ hockey
Members of the Niagara-on-the-Lake sponge puck shinny hockey league are The Lake Report's Team of the Week. Front row, from left: Jason Rekker, David Butler, John Rivers, Kevin Neufeld and Sam Willems. Back row Thomas Muir, Jay Buffington, Tony Salvatore, Rob Vanderveen, Matt Hurlburt, Barry Boese, Andrew Perrie, Mark Garthe, Noah Garthe, Ted Grinstead, Gord Ng, Shaiyena Cote and John Read. SUPPLIED

David Butler
Special to The Lake Report

Another season of shinny hockey, or “sponge puck” as we call it, has ended.

Niagara-on-the-Lake might be one of the only places in North America where shinny is often played with a sponge puck when goalies are not available.

It’s been a tradition here for more than 40 years.

As is tradition, everyone claims victory regardless of what may or may not be reflected on the scoreboard.

Sponge puck attracts a variety of skaters, men and women, from various professional backgrounds.

We have myself (a lawyer), Andrew Perrie (a top Niagara realtor), Thomas Muir (insurance), Rob Vanderveen (windows and siding), Barry Boese (welcome committee and accounting services), Gordon Ng (property investor), Jay Buffington (Apple engineer), John Read (sawcutting and coring), Scott Neufeld (border guard) and many more.

The on-ice picture tells a fuller story.

And as this season ends, we’re all looking forward to the next one just a few months down the road.

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