“The other thing we wanted to do was to keep friends or family together, as we’d had requests before the draft, so we tried to be as accommodating as possible,” Wolgemuth added.
Once the teams were selected, rosters and schedules were announced on Facebook. Each captain became responsible for collecting money, player info, and registering their respective teams: Oshie Bad (Wolgemuth), Baby Got Backes (Dianoski), No Ragretzys (Simpson), and Wood Pekkas (Redick).
“Honestly, when I first drafted my team, I knew only about half of them; so I had no idea what it was like to play with them, let alone what position they played or the last time they skated,” Wolgemuth said. “It’s fun to reconnect with people that you haven’t played with – or against – in years, and of course to meet new people, too.”
The newly-created Gold Division featured four games over three days. In the end, Wolgemuth and the Oshie Bad’s proved to be victorious, defeating Dianoski and the Baby Got Backes by a 7-2 count.
Win or lose – the captains agreed that relaunching the Gold Division was about more than claiming victory.
“It’s a lot of fun to be able to play at a higher level, but of course the tournament weekend is all about having fun with your teammates on and off the ice,” Redick said. “We had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends from our childhood that we haven’t seen in a while, and participate in a healthy amount of banter with frenemies drafted by other teams. No one remembers who scored the goals or who won, but they’ll remember the friendships they made with the people they met playing this awesome game.”
Plans are to keep the Gold Division going through 2020 and beyond while looking at potentially sending teams to out-of-state tournaments. But for now, it’s all about celebrating with friends and teammates coming together to play the sport they love.
“This tournament brings so many people together from throughout the state,” Wolgemuth said. “There are people that I only see once a year at this tournament because no matter where they live, they make it a priority to come every year.
“I have three brothers that play hockey, and this year, two of them were playing, so it turned into a family event with our nephew watching us,” she continued. “It’s like being a kid again, being a rink rat, it’s so fun.”