Seniors take to the ice for charity in Oldsmar tournament

By Randi Nissenbaum, Reporter
Last Updated: Sunday, November 29, 2015, 10:55 PM EST

A championship hockey game in Oldsmar had crowds cheering and fans donating thousands of dollars to charity.

The tournament was not played by kids -- but seniors. The Hennesseys played the Broken Aeros in the championships for the Senior Charity Hockey Tournament Saturday.

“Skate hard, pass the puck, score,” said Scott McCance, who played in the tournament.

Watching the men play, you would think they were teenagers, but most of the players are over 50 years old.

“It's easier to skate then walk for some of us,” said player Mike Ricci.

Even 86-year-old Harold Dean played like a champ.

“The nice thing about playing hockey is your feet are not planted. So I have never been badly injured playing hockey,” said Dean.

Neil Armstrong (yes that is his real name) is one of the founders of the Senior Charity Hockey Tournament. Armstrong says during the event, the seniors play fair --- well most of the time.

“We have rules that if you drop your gloves it's an automatic expulsion from the tournament. No fighting no cheap stuff,” said Armstrong.

The hockey players who attended the event geared up for two big reasons.

“Oh, I love it,” said Dean.

For six years the money raised for the charity tournament has benefited a local organization. Last year they raised 17,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters. This year they are hoping to raise over 10,000 for the Northside Mental Health Center Phone Friend Program.

“To help with latch key kids. They have volunteers who talk to kids that are home alone in the after school and they work with them,” said Armstrong.

A great cause and sport Dean says he will play forever.

“It's good exercise. You can play hockey forever as long as you don’t stop,” said Dean.

The tournament originally started six years ago after two local officers, Dave Curtis and Jeff Kocab, were murdered. The senior hockey players wanted to raise money for the officers' families. They pick a different charity every year.