FLINT — Area high school alumni hockey teams continue to find time to reunite for bragging rights, fundraising, and just plain old fun. This time around Flint Iceland Arenas played host to Linden, Davison, Flushing and Carman-Ainsworth teams on March 25-27.
Jon Jepson, Flushing/Carman- Ainsworth varsity high school coach and General Manager at Iceland Arenas said the first-time tournament went very well and everyone had a great time. So great, in fact, that the tournament will now become an annual one.
“Flushing took on Carman- Ainsworth in the finals and Ainsworth won the trophy,” Jepson said. “CMHA set up a beer and food tent to help us all support youth hockey in the area. It was just a lot of 30-and-over alumni, and guys who hadn’t been on the ice in years, who came back home just to play hockey with former teammates. This will definitely become an annual event.”
Brad Kippe was in goal for the winning Ainsworth team.
“It was a lot of fun and the first tournament that I’ve ever played in, let alone won, with my brothers, Rod and Jeff,” Kippe said. “We had a lot of fun playing with and against friends and former teammates, some from a few years ago and some from over 30 years ago.”
Kippe noted that the Ainsworth alumni squad played a “Red and Gray” alumni game last year to support the Brad Stone Foundation in honor of Brad Stone and his Uncle Rob Stone who passed away in 2006.
“That game was attended by hundreds of Ainsworth alumni, who watched the ‘80s Spartans take on the ‘70s Spartans, who had a few younger Stone boys on their team,” Kippe said. “A rematch is scheduled for August 5 at Iceland Arena.”
Kippe said the Carman-Ainsworth team was comprised of many Ainsworth players, an Ainsworth coach, one Carman player and three that started at Ainsworth then moved to Carman-Ainsworth after the schools combined in 1986.
Kipper, a 1986 Ainsworth grad was joined by Chad Borg, a 1991 Carman- Ainsworth grad; John Witten, a 1988 Carman-Ainsworth grad; Chuck Raske, Ainsworth Class of 1983; Scott McNiel Carman-Ainsworth Class of 1986; Rod Kippe, 1982 Class from Carman- Ainsworth; Rob Chatters, Ainsworth Class of 1983; Mark Whitten Ainsworth Class of 1982; Mike Boyd, 1982 grad of Ainsworth; Dave Barbour, Carman Class of 1983; John Schied Ainsworth coach 1984-86; Jeff Kippe, Ainsworth grad from 1982; Dan Whitten, 1986 Ainsworth grad; and Jeff Whitten, a 1989 Carman- Ainsworth grad.
“Everyone had a great time and we’re already planning to play again next year,” Kippe said. “I expect this tournament to really grow once word gets out how much fun it was.”