Noon Hour League a long-standing tradition in Neepawa


By: Lanny Stewart

Ever since the mid 90s, for two days a week during the winter, Neepawa has been the home to the NHL.

No, not 'that' NHL, but rather the Noon Hour League, which consists of a group of adults who enjoy each other's company at the Yellowhead Centre every Tuesday and Friday afternoon. Players come from all over the region --Neepawa, Plumas, Minnedosa and Mountain Road to name a few -- to enjoy an hour of recreational hockey at the Yellowhead Centre.

"It's about going out there and going hard. You win, you lose. It doesn't make any difference to most of the guys," said Bill Werry, who in his 60s, is the manager of the league.

Werry says the group ranges in age -- includes players in their 20s -- and involves females as well. The group also includes some notable hockey names in the area, such as Ryan Miller, Brett Dreger (his dad Ralph also takes part) and Reg Delaloye of the Neepawa Farmers of the Tiger Hills Hockey League. 

"We've got the vet in town (Neepawa), a few ex-bankers, just a real mix of players," continued Werry.

The recreational league has a few rules such as no snapshots and no bodychecking.

"There's the odd accident that happens, but usually we bounce back from it," he said. "We try and keep the sticks down. No hooking, no slashing. Stuff like that." 

Larry Evans, owner of Evans Bowling Lanes in Neepawa, started the league and says it provides the players with good exercise. 

"All the guys like it. Camaraderie and good friendships are made," he said.

The group is winding down its league year and is planning on having its annual windup lunch in the not-too-distant future.

At the end of the year, any extra funds made from the league year are donated to a local cause.

In photos: Members of the noon hour recreational hockey league in Neepawa pose for a photo.  Bottom: Bill Werry. 

Photo by Lanny Stewart