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Ocbj Puck Passion

Ocbj Puck Passion

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Published by SherriLCruz

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Published by: SherriLCruz on Feb 02, 2013
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05/14/2014

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Puck PassionOrange County Business JournalMonday, July 6, 2009They're not the Anaheim Ducks, but they might be having more fun.Weeknights, sometimes as late as 11:15 p.m., men and women lace uptheir skates and chase a puck around the ice, risking bumps, cuts and bruises, all in the name of a heck of a good time."It's the most fun in the world," said Bill Blanning, captain of an adultleague hockey team that plays at Aliso Viejo Ice Palace. "You have tofocus so intensely that you shut everything off for an hour."Blanning, vice president of global media relations for Irvine-basedBroadcom Corp., plays on a team named for the chipmaker. It's one of the few company-named teams.At least half of the players work at Broadcom, though the team isn'tsponsored by the chipmaker.Love of hockey runs deep at the Irvine-based company. Cofounder Henry Samueli and his wife, Susan, own the National Hockey League'sAnaheim Ducks, who practice at Anaheim Ice, the county's largest icecomplex, with two rinks.PlayersUnlike golf, hockey is more of an everyman's sport.Hockey players here come from the ranks of Black & Decker Corp.'sLake Forest operation, the local offices of Honeywell International Inc.,Aliso Viejo-based Qdos Inc.'s DeskSite and BandCon in Costa Mesa.There are plenty of blue collar players, including police officers and
 
firefighters.A few women play in the county's adult hockey leagues. The Broadcomteam has a woman goalie.Broadcom's team is made up of players of varying ages and ranks withinthe chipmaker. There aren't any senior executives on the team, accordingto Blanning. There are a couple of vice presidents."It's really a melting pot," he said.Teams play year-round at several rinks in OC and in Lakewood andRiverside.Most of the county's rinks are in North County, including OrangeCounty Ice Palace in Yorba Linda and KHS Ice Arena in Anaheim.Rinks charge $300 to $550 per session, the season runs for a fewmonths.The bulk of a rink's revenue comes from youth hockey leagues,leavingadult leagues to play late on weeknights.Hockey is a commitment. Gear, which rivals that of a professionalfootball player, costs $300 to $3,000. Goalies need the most gear andspend the most money.Two stores cater to the county's hockey players: Monkey Sports Inc.'sMonkeySports Superstore in Santa Ana and Anaheim's HockeyGiant, part of San Diego's Sports Giant LLC.Used gear can be had at stores such as Play it Again Sports, part of Winmark Corp. That's where Blanning said he bought all his gear about10 years ago for about $300.
 
Fast PaceHockey players often cite the game's fast pace, physicality andcamaraderie as the reasons they play."We play rough, but it's non-checking," Blanning said. "We can't slam people."But hockey isn't for the faint of heart.Scot Ross, chief financial officer for Internet services provider BandCon,dislocated a shoulder and tore his rotator cuff during a game.Hockey players say the game forges strong bonds."Golfing buddies are one group," said Richard Gillam, chief executive of DeskSite, an online video advertising company. "Hockey buddies arelifelong friends."Gillam plays on a team called the Bruins,part of an advanced league,atAliso Viejo Ice Palace."Everybody plays to win in hockey," he said. "The team you're playingagainst wants to knock you around. It's up to you to protect each other and defend each other and to win the game together."BusinessOnce a professional pairs figure skater, Gillam mixes hockey and business.He met BandCon's Ross, who was born in Canada and is a lifelongathlete, playing on the same hockey team.

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