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Hockey Night in Katonah Still Going Strong at Harvey

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By Rich MonettiPublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 3 min read
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52 years ago a group of local first responders rented out the Harvey Hockey rink and began a Tuesday hockey night. “They called it the fireman’s game,” said Stu Hackle, and currently running what’s now called, Hockey Night In Katonah, he’s not ashamed to be a late comer by comparison.

“I joined in 1990,” Hackle revealed.

No school team to speak of when he grew up in the 60’s, Hackle didn’t let that stop him. Ponds and rinks, he said, “I played when I could.”

Once a week good enough these days, he’s still not the elder statesman. “I’ve been doing this since 1982,” said 65 year old Frank Palmer.

With his full head of white hair and slender build, he could easily be mistaken for Gordie Howe and doesn’t mind being a Mr. Hockey to the younger learning curve. “I try to teach these guys how to play their positions and move the puck,” he said.

The proud senior citizen is big on the importance of the weekly after school special too. “We go out afterwards for something to eat at the local bar,” said Palmer. “That helps to complete the bond and makes us stronger.”

A good thing because that leaves David Post plenty of room to play the jokester in the deck. A 1982 high school graduate of Douglas MacArthur High School in Levittown, he brings a (playful) military sense to his ice time. “I take no prisoners,” he said. “I knock ‘em down and beat ‘em up.”

With no checking allowed, he’s going full tongue and cheek. But refusing to drop the mic, Post claims he’s the only one allowed to check. As for the skills part of the program, he isn’t afraid to mark his territory every Tuesday. “I play wherever I want to play,” he said, “mostly forward but occasionally I play defense.”

On the other hand, he’s a team player when it comes to giving voice to the most important aspect of Tuesday night hockey. “It takes the stress out of life and makes us feel like we’re still young,” said Post.

Of course, the hockey player couldn’t completely stay on the straight and narrow and freely admitted how much his wife likes having him out of the house. “If I come home and say, ‘I’m not going to play tonight,’” he conveyed, “she’ll put my stuff in the car.”

The occasional female player appearing too, life obviously conflicts for every player at some time, and they really feel it. “You are bummed, and you are so disappointed,” said Scott Cohen.

Fun and camaraderie is far from the only appeal, though. “Everyone has some level of hockey before, so they still have that competitive edge,” said the 1997 Ossining High School grad.

As a longtime hockey coach, Greg Janos may be the closest to the cliff and relishes the actual opportunity to play with some of his former players. “It’s a nice way to stay connected and see them as adults,” said the Harvey Girls Lacrosse Coach.

Even so, Janos offers no mercy when it comes to continuing to provide hockey schooling. “I’m not going to lie, every time I play,” he joked. “I can’t let them win.”

To be fair, though, self preservation is also involved. “I’ll never hear the end of it,” he assured.

Probably not true, friendship says so and persists at parties, fundraisers and family get-togethers. “We’re friends away from the rink and we’re proud of that,” concluded Hackle.

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Rich Monetti

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