Fun on Ice

Local teacher enjoys the speed and competitiveness of weekly hockey games

Corinne Lorch, of Washougal, is among the members of Jabronis, a co-ed hockey team that includes her husband Neil. “I love playing on a team with my husband and all the other guys,” Corinne said. “Anytime you can share an activity just brings you closer together.” There are opportunities for men and women, of a variety of skill levels, to play hockey at Mountain View Ice Arena, in Vancouver. Buy this photo

A Washougal woman is among the participants in the fast-paced sport of hockey.

Corinne Lorch, 26, plays for “Jabronis,” a co-ed team that includes her husband Neil.

This is Corinne’s first season playing hockey. She and Neil started skating a few months ago, to get to the point that they could participate in a league at the beginners level, at Mountain View Ice Arena.

Corinne enjoys that hockey is fast moving, competitive, physical and just “all around fun.”

“Everyone who plays is just out to have a great time, which makes the games enjoyable, regardless of the team or outcome,” she said.

“One of my favorite aspects of playing is that it is an activity that I am able to share and enjoy with my husband and a few male friends who play,” Corinne added. “I would be happy to make some new female friends through hockey, if some would sign up.”

Fighting during the adult hockey league games is not tolerated. Corinne said fighting is not really a concern though, since everyone on the ice is just having a great time.

The first offense for fighting includes a suspension from the game the player is in, plus the next game and a $25 fine.

A second offense results in a $50 fine and a three-game suspension. The penalty for a third offense is expulsion from the league.

Corinne, a science teacher at Hayes Freedom High School, in Camas, signed up for the “Learn to Skate” program at Mountain View, before considering playing hockey.

The two-month U.S. Figure Skating basic skills program includes group lessons, practices between classes, rental skates and free public sessions.

Corinne encourages others to play hockey.

“I think it is often overlooked or seen as something too hard or expensive to get into,” she said.

“It is surprising how supportive everyone you come in contact with is — players and people who work at the rink — everyone is just there to help each other get better and have fun.”

The current season, which started the week of Feb. 3, includes 14 regular season games and one guaranteed playoff game. The games are one hour and 15 minutes.

The cost to play is $300 per person, per season, if registered early, or $330 if signed up by the first game.

“League cost is a little expensive, but when you break it down to price per game and then by hour it is very reasonable,” Corinne said. “It is cheaper than most exercise classes or going and seeing a movie, and it’s way more fun.”

Rich Akers is one of the Lorchs’ teammates.

Akers, 36, of Vancouver, is also in his first season of league play. Overall, he has played hockey for two years.

Akers said having a female player on Jabronis adds a lot of energy and toughness to the team.

“She plays defense, which means she has to get in the play to stop pucks quite a bit,” he said, regarding Corinne. “She’s fearless.”

Akers is a registered nurse who works in the operating room at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center in Portland.

He said playing hockey is fun and challenging, and there is camaraderie among the players on all of the teams.

“I don’t like just working out,” Akers said. “I need a ball or puck or something to chase.

“People of all abilities and ages would love our league,” he added. “It’s casual and laid back. If you’ve never tried hockey or it’s been a long time, this is a great place to develop your skills and have fun too.”

Mountain View Ice Arena is located at 14313 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

In addition to the adult leagues with coed divisions, there are all-women hockey teams that play every other Monday, at 6:25 p.m.

The schedule can be viewed online at www.mtviewice.com. Admission is free for spectators.

For more information, contact Hockey Director Jason Hirt, at 896-8700 or jasonhirt@gmail.com.