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The Jay’s Pickup game came about during the 2016-2017 GYHA season. My older son was a 1st year peewee and my younger son was a 3rd year mite. At the time, there were a lot of dads helping out on the ice coaching. With helping our kids on the ice develop, several of us began talking about how much fun it would be to get back on the ice ourselves and play once again. After lots of talk, but no action, I jumped at the opportunity and bought an hour of ice time back in January 2017. That initial spark grew into a flame over the past few years and has now evolved into a pretty good fire.
People enjoy my Sunday AM and Wednesday PM pickups for an assortment of things. I currently have about 350 on the email invite list. Since I know everyone on the email invite list, I pick the teams. With knowing everyone’s age and level, I’m able to keep teams even, which makes the games close. Even though it’s a pickup, it feels like a game, having a ref and goalies. The players enjoy playing for 75 minutes, which includes a warm up before the pickup game gets underway. Halfway through the game, I stop the clock to trade the goalies and we resume play until the final buzzer. I also play with music. I am always interested in adding people to the email invite group, as we look to grow the welcoming, competitive and fun environment that has developed over the past few years. Some of us have been able to see those youthful years of coaching our kids on the ice come full circle, in which those kids now skate at our pickups.