(Trail Times file image)

A fond farewell to an old Trail friend

Sports ‘n’ Things by Dave Thompson

If you get what is considered decent longevity in your life, you get to experience lots of highs and lows. Wins and losses, so to speak.

Of late, I, and many others have lost a good young friend in Gerry Hollett, and almost simultaneously a good old local icon – Gordie Robertson.

The latter means Trail is no longer home to an Olympic Ice Hockey Gold Medalist. Gordie was the last of two local guys who earned that honour, in 1952 – outliving teammate Louis Secco by a fair bit.

Gordie had a lot of stories, about his experiences and the local scene – maybe not a million of them, but thousands, anyway. Very proud Trail guy, with many friends – all of whom had heard most of the stories numerous times, but listened again anyway.

I have not seen any details about remembrance published. I believe there will be a service Saturday morning and an early afternoon gathering at the last refreshment center in the once well hydrated Gulch neighbourhood – the Rex Hotel.

While there, Gordie’s friends, a lot of them Smoke Eater alumni, can reminisce about their friend, and maybe get updated about a new video enterprise around the Smokies’ heyday that is in the works.

RIP, “Old Pal.”

• Tonight’s the night, after 25 of those with no Smokie home hockey, that gives Trail hockey fans an opportunity to check out the surging Smoke Eaters. It is the only night, too, in 32 of those, when that opportunity is available.

After tonight, there are no more home games until the end of the month. One home game in 34 days. Better take advantage of it.

Its a very good time for the brief return to the friendly confines of Cominco Arena for the Smoke Eaters. After a stumbling start, particularly for the newcomers, the team has reeled off eight straight wins, with those newcomers beginning to buttress the scoring of the returnees.

It should be a battle. Incoming Nanaimo is itself riding a seven game winning streak, and has the best defensive record in the league – so Trail, with the third best offence in the league, can expect to be challenged to keep up the scoring pace it has been on.

A good sign for Trail fans is that the team has improved a lot defensively (from last to eighth in goals allowed) during its recent spree, too.

Go early. Carpool if you can. A hockey town hungry for some action might make the rink, and downtown, crowded tonight.

• Just in case you want more hockey action than that. The NiteHawks play tonight and tomorrow in The Hawks’ Nest, as well.

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