More than 50 years after members of the men’s national hockey team represented Canada in international tournaments, they’re gathering in St. John’s this week to see the sights, socialize and relive those hockey memories.
The men have been gathering every two years for the past few decades. This is the second time they’ve met in Newfoundland.
George Faulkner, who played with the national team in 1966 and was the first professional player from this province, is the honorary host.
“We talk about everything that went on back in those years. Some of them we don’t say very much about,” Faulkner said with a chuckle.
“It’s great to just get together and stand and sit around … Talk about the good old times and the good times that we are still having.”
‘Wonderful to get together’
Some of those good old times include Faulkner scoring Canada’s first goal in the 1966 World Championships against Yugoslavia.
“I can remember the goal. I don’t dwell on it, you know. I had a good series that year. I was the granddaddy, pretty well, on the team,” he said Wednesday, standing with 20 other former players at Cape Spear.
Faulkner, who is 85, played hockey until this past winter but has decided to hang up his skates. But when it comes to the reunions, he said he will show up as long as he can.
The men and their wives had a busy day of touring the area on Tuesday. They cruised along Harbour Drive in downtown St. John’s, stopped at the Terry Fox monument, took in the landscape at Cape Spear, and had lunch at Chafe’s Landing in Petty Harbour.
They also attended a reception at city hall before stopping for dinner and a show.
“It was all a wonderful experience we went through and part of being here, these few days are kind of reliving those memories type of thing,” said Barry Mackenzie, who played in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics and later played for the Minnesota North Stars.
“So it’s wonderful to get together.”
Mackenzie said when he thinks back to the year of 1966, he can’t even recall how his team did, but he remembers other moments well.
“Sometimes your hockey gets put in the background and it’s just about the experience.”