Hockey offers competition and co-operation
By Jim Scott
It is a testament to the love of hockey that the old hands at Esprit de Corps continue to hit the ice long after wiser heads have hung up the blades for less strenuous pursuits. Of course, there is more to it than the playing of the game itself: there is camaraderie on the team, an opportunity to reach out to the Canadian military officers and the diplomatic corps in Ottawa, and a chance to raise funds for the next generation in the form of the Cadet Leagues.
Over the years some of the faces change, and for the first of two games in the last week of May, there was a scramble to find faces and legs who could take time off on a Tuesday afternoon to play another edition of the Esprit de Corps Cup challenge. The Ottawa Service Attaches Association (OSAA) Lame Ducks fill their roster with military attaches who do rotate out of diplomatic postings every couple of years. LCol Nico Huelshoff of the German Embassy finds himself in charge of a team that features a few players trying out hockey for the first time. The Esprit de Corps Commando Lites also suit up their share of players borrowing skates and pads. Games are notable for their spirited competition if not speed.
The May 29th Lites/Ducks Cup Challenge game was played at the University of Ottawa arena. Goals were hard to come by but the Lites chipped away to build a 3-0 lead late. (Katherine Taylor scored and assisted). Determination and persistence paid off for the Ducks and they added a second marker at the buzzer to finish at the short end of a 3-2 score. Although the ice time was two hours, five more minutes might have made a difference!
Two days later the Esprit de Corps Commando regular squad faced off against the General and Flag Officers squad (GOFOs). With some senior officers unavailable, the Canadian military team called in colonels to fill the roster. As they are promoted the Commandos can expect difficult times ahead.
Still led by Rear Admiral Bob Auchterlonie who registered two assists, the GOFOs struck first, second and third. Commandos Rob Hawken finally tallied a goal and brought to within 3-2 before GOFO’s Steve Caron added his second goal into an empty net.
Played at the Bell Sensplex in Ottawa’s west end, the apres hockey was sponsored by Curtiss Wright who have a large facility nearby. They generously supplied food and drink to players and spectators while bright-eyed cadets sold raffle tickets. The Cadet Leagues were the recipients of over $5,000 in funds raised by activities around the Nammo Commando Challenge X. Esprit de Corps would like to thank and acknowledge all sponsors: Pratt and Whitney, DEW Engineering, Corps of Commissionaires, Airbus Defence and Space, Telfer School of Management, David Pratt & Associates, Rockwell Collins, Hudson Tactical, Rheinmetall Defence and Canadian Centre for Product Validation (CCPV).
Photos by Richard Lawrence: http://www.richardlawrencephotography.ca/clients/edec/gofo20180531/index.html