ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Many young hockey players in the United States dream of representing their country, and in October, two Alaskans made that dream a reality.
Frank Nosek and Jimmy Reese were selected to play for the over 80-year-old USA hockey team.
“We are among the only over 80-year-old skaters playing hockey in Alaska,” said 83-year-old Nosek.
Nosek and Reese play hockey year round in South Anchorage with the 49er club made up of players over the age of 50.
“It’s pretty laid back, I don’t push it too much,” said Reese before a game on Monday. On top of playing locally the two teammates travel out of state to play.
Due to a knee replacement Nosek wasn’t able to make the usual pilgrimage to Santa Rosa, California for the Snoopy’s Senior World Hockey Tournament.
Reese, however, did go to the Santa Rosa tournament this year, and was recruited to represent the United States in the Canada 150 Cup. A tournament in Ottawa, Canada for players over the age of 80.
The team then asked Reese if he knew any other players his age. “I knew [Frank] had a bum knee so I said, ‘are you ready to go play a game in Ottawa?’” said Reese.
Nosek tested out his knee before leaving in October, cleared himself to play, and the two were off to Canada.
“The tournament was eye opener for Jimmy and I,” said Nosek. “When we got into the locker room, we didn’t know any of the other players, met them, or even heard of them.”
While Nosek was a little surprised, Reese was confident he could hang with the Canadians after playing our neighbors to the North in a practice game.
“If I know the Canadians like I do, their good players hadn’t shown up yet,” said Reese.
The Canada 150 Cup consists of a scrimmage and a championship game between Canada and the United States.
The Americans would lead two to nothing early in the championship, but Canada would tie the game late.
When the championship came down to the wire in a shootout, Reese scored the game winning goal for Team USA.
“It was a good deal to beat ‘em, it was better than losing,” said Reese as he showed off of the trophy on Monday. Like the Stanley Cup, every player gets a couple weeks with the trophy in their hometown.
The two say they hope to play in the tournament next year if they get invited back.