Alumni Memories

The following are just “some” of the many memories shared on Facebook by Navy Vets alumni !!!



Congratulations to the Navy Vets organization on 50 years! So many great memories and friendships have come from my many years involved in one way or another with this team.
From being a trainer in the mid eighties, an as an assistant coach in the three following decades ( boy, does that make me feel old ! ) , to helping out again as a scout, it makes me feel very proud to say I have been involved with his great organization basically my whole life.

Thanks for all the great memories and looking forward to Friday.

Steve Chesley

I played for the Woodstock Navy Vets for 6 years starting when I was 16 as an under ager and played as an over ager as a 21 year old. I took a lot of pride playing for a city that I grew up in and continue to live today. One of my fondest memories would be my first game as a 16 year old I told my defense parter Trevor Reynolds that I was super nervous and was going to have a quick first shift. I scored my very first shift, but it went down hill from there as that was my only goal of the season lol. Another memory I have is taking a slap shot off my foot during a playoff game against Simcoe. I fractured my foot and continued to play. We beat out Simcoe and lost to Norwich in the final. I enjoyed all the good times with teamates and all the charity events over the years.

Brandon Schell


I played from 68 /69 , 69/70, 70/71 seasons …… having played on the Ontario Championship Team in 68/69 , followed by back to back SUPER “C” Championships , and INTER-COUNTY JUNIOR “C” CHAMPIONSHIPS .
As once quoted by Billy Thomas ( now hails from Winnipeg and played for the 68/69 Team ) ” In your life, 10 great things happen to you ” ” playing on that Team is one of those “.
The NAVY CLUB and under the umbrella of the VETS original President Mr. Sam Keeping and a continuous stream of great EXECUTIVE MEMBERS the Vets created what is now a FIFTY YEAR HISTORY of JUNIOR HOCKEY IN WOODSTOCK …… Only speaking for my years , I can tell you we were treated like pros , the fans of Woodstock would fill the PERRYDOME ( 2000 people at times ) all with their chants and pins ” GO VETS GO ” or ” OUR PETS THE NAVY VETS” , THE SENTINEL REVIEW was all about WOODSTOCK and their people and their Hockey Teams always received full page coverage …… funny, but back then it was the place for young and old to go …. it was the best place to be a Friday night .
Today , I still play with many of the same guys I grew up and played with on the Vets ……. Only difference today is we went from Young Vets to today’s version 40 years later as ” THE RUSTY ANCHORS : ) ” ….. heck forty years later and I am still trying to stop Donny Jones ….although a losing battle for me we still laugh about who came out ahead on Sunday mornings.
Many of the guys I grew up with have had next generation Kids follow in their footsteps ……. son Kurt , Murray , Doug and Ronnie Paton and sons , John Yeoman , Scott Seagrist , Dave and Gene McLaren and sons and the list goes on and on ……. now under Devon Young and his Team of young Execs and great support Group the VETS are shining again and for many of us LUCKY VETS ..we may just be lucky enough to see that THIRD GENERATION of young men playing for the BLUE and WHITE .

Cam Roberts

It all started for me as a stick boy under Ted Gilbert in 1987-88 when the team was coached by John Jensen. Then in 1990-91 Dave Bogart took over the team as coach and I was asked to do stats. And for the next 14 yrs that was my job. Was also assistant GM under a few general managers to this day.

There were many great moments in Navy Vet history while I have been here, the first is under Dave, the Vets won 3 straight Niagara west titles 92-93, 93-94 and 94-95. Advancing to the OHA semi finals once and the quarter finals twice. We also had great team trips to play exhibition games vs the Ohio University team. While I was here the Vets also won titles in 1998-99 defeating the Norwich Merchants in 7 games, then in 2001-02 reaching the semi finals against Essex only to come up short under coach Scott Brooks. One other series I loved was under Derek Partlo when we defeated the Simcoe Storm in 7 games with the visiting team winning every game.

I also had the pleasure to work with many great coaches and am glad I still have friendships with them and many of the players through the years.

There also was down times but with the new young faces taking over the team I see them being a strong force for many years, and am proud to be apart of this great organization.

As a friend from the Vets would say during our 3 straight championships “Let’s get it together”

Dean Vollmershausen

Its nice to see the Navy Vet organization getting back to the greatness it once was. Having local guys running the show and putting in the hard work and dedication is nice to see. I hope the city embraces them and brings the passion back to Woodstock and Jr hockey

Bob Langdon
Player 86-88
Coach 2012

Would like to congratulate the woodstock Navy Vets on 50 years!! I remember as a little boy going with grandpa on Friday nights to the old perry st and watching the navy vets in the packed house, luckily I was able to play for them one day, my best memory was our 2001-2002 playoff run where we went to the ontario semis, knocking off out rivals the Norwich merchants then a thrilling game 6 OT win over Chippewa to get is into the semis, unfortunetaly it ended there against Essex. Good luck to the future navy vets, may the tradition continue !!

Matt Richardson

It’s easy to say that the game which stands out the most to me is the 2002 triple OT thriller on home ice against the Chippawa Riverhawks in game 6 of the Niagara League finals. Taylor Winkler took a pass in the slot from Brent Laur and wired a wrister blocker side high to clinch the title. Nothing brings a group of guys together more than winning a title under such suspenseful circumstances.

Mike Matika

It all started back in the mid 80’s growing up watching this awesome team that I would later end up dedicating alot of volunteer time to. 22 years to be exact.
1990 I started as a penalty box helper, then graduated to water boy, then became a dressing room attendant , helping trainer Ted Gilbert out. Joined the executive as a director once the team moved from the perry dome to the complex. It was then I became the public address announcer for the team. I was known throughout the city as “THE VOICE” of the Navy Vets. I also continued my duties as a director on the executive ,and also making every road trip game , helping out the training staff ( Ted Gilbert , Dan Dukes And Bert Cowell). Ive seen the good , the bad, and the ugly throughout my years with this team. Ive met so many friends ,and have many many awesome memories and stories to tell for years to come. I dont regret one bit of devoting so much time to such a classyorganization.

Congratulations to the Woodstock Navy Vets for celebrating 50 wonderful years in this city.

Terry Empey


I have always been proud to say that I was once a Woodstock Navy Vet.

I have lots of great memories of my Navy Vet days. As a young teenager, I remember watching the original Navy Vets playing and looking up to guys like Fred Slater, Don Izzard, Gary Pooley, just to mention a few. I remember playing for the Midget team and Coach Don Izzard calling me up to play with the Vets. I was thrilled. I played on a line with Fred Slater (How cool was that)! During my first game Fred gave me a breakaway pass that is still etched in my mind. As I raced in all alone on the goalie with all the fans screaming my mind was a blur, I fired the puck with precision squarely into the middle of the goalies pads. What a memory…..

I have as many off ice Vet memories as on ice memories, the bus rides were crazy, guys flashing moons at passing traffic, Paul Dunn’s blue flamers, playing cards and listening to jokes.…..

Who could forget the night Pat Sobeski had a penalty shot in Ingersoll, Pat was allowed 3 do-overs because of interference while he was shooting. The referee finally awarded Pat the goal even though he never scored. Pat has a different story.

Being a member of the All Ontario Jr. ‘C’ Champs was another real thrill. Yes, the hockey was fantastic, however at the time we didn’t realize that as a group we had created a bond with each other and we would become friends for life. It’s great to run into an old teammate and reminisce about our hockey days. The older we get, the faster we were. I never get tired of the stories.

Sam Keeping and the Navy Vet executive did a tremendous job building an organization that was well respected by surrounding communities. The Navy Vet organization turned a lot of boys into young men.

Go Vets Go

Don Jones

My memories of the Woodstock Navy Vets are wide-spread. As a young kid in the early years, my dad was sure to take us to all the games at the “Perry Dome” and those memories included Mel’s french fries (wrapped in newspaper), steamed hot dogs, chicken soup in a cup and of course, sponge toffee. Does anyone remember the unidentified “Fish Man”? I clearly recall the battles between the Vets and the Ingersoll Marlins, travelling to the Ingersoll arena with dad for all those games. My years on the Vets in the late 70’s early 80’s included memories of our 1981 championship All-Ontario Semi-Finals run that ended in game 7 against Essex. I recall the back door of the “Perry Dome” being a quick access to a few beers at the Oxford Hotel between periods for many fans, which made for an even more electric crowd. My memories of the Vets didn’t end with me and soon we had a son (Devon) playing on the team. Devon’s years as the captain of the then “Renegades” and later the Vets were tough days and probably the driving force behind his mission to turning the team around and making it a better place for local kids to aspire to play and his passion for taking it back to the team it once was in the community. Following his over-age year with the team, Devon sat on their Executive and when rumours of the team’s “decommissioning” came to light, Devon made it is mission to gather a group to start the re-build. It’s amazing to see the transformation in this team in the few short years of the rebuild and I’m amazed at what this small group has accomplished to date. It’s great to see the reconnection with the Navy Club because I remember our days of breakfasts and banquets there. Thanks for all the memories everyone and I look forward to catching up on Friday. More memories to come with this team I’m sure.

Dave Young

As a 16 year old when I played my first season with the Vets,
I will Remember the Perry Street Arena Atmosphere and how pumped we always were to play Friday nights in front of our hometown crowd.
I remember the Line ups vs Norwich for the league finals, as well as winning 3 consecutive Jr C Division Championships.
I have fond memories of coaches Dave Bogart and John Thornton, who were simply the best coaches I ever had. Their preparation and dedication to us players, to practice plans, and just being ready for anything will stick with me forever.

But the memory that I will remember the most was when we
Played Bell River who were the Niagara West League Championships.
It was my ultimate goal to repeat what my dad Cam Roberts had done years earlier and win the Ontario Championships

We were up 2-0 in the series against Bell River and ended up losing the Series,
Bell River went on to sweep the next 2 Series on their way to winning Ontario Championships

Kurt Roberts


Woodstock has always been my second home. I joined the club as an under ager from London, and was fortunate enough to return and finish as an over ager. Its hard to pin point my best memory as a vet, I loved the entire experience and wouldn’t change a thing… well, maybe a couple more ginos. I really felt my last year was my best helping lead the team as a player coach and making a great playoff run. Go Vets Go!

Dan Phillips

I Definitely have lots of great memories during my time with the Vets, had such a fantastic rivalry with Norwich , I loved playing in their barn, tight quarters, good atmosphere, especially in the playoffs. I will also obviously remember scoring the 3OT goal vs Chippewa in the playoffs infront of thousands of fans at the complex! That moment still to this day gives me goosebumps. I Played with some of my friends at the time but also made some great new friends during those years . Lastly, I will always remember looking forward to the breakfasts at the navy club

Taylor Winkler

Some of my best memories are the years I played with the Vets. Winning the Niagra league championships in overtime is one of the best memories. As well as all my teammates, coaches and friends along the way. We had a lot of fun!

Ryan Kikut

Fond memories of my playing days in early 70’s. Very Strong Teams ,GreatTeammates ,
Fantastic Fan support ,
Navy Club support and the Perry Street Arena to perform in. It didn’t get any better. It was often said if you didn’t attend the Navy Vet game Friday you would be out of most conversations for the week.
In early 80”s my brother Brian and I moved behind the Navy Vet bench for 3 years to offer our experiences in hopes of bringing another Championship to Woodstock.
Our club in 1984(Cardiac Kids) became the darlings of Woodstock reaching the Ontario Finals with one dramatic series win after another . WOW is the best way to describe the atmosphere in the city that year. People everywhere were excited and talking about the Navy Vet Hockey team !
The best memory would be all the Great people I’ve met through my involvement with the Navy Vet Hockey Club and still to this day are friends.

Congratulations on 50 Years

Murray Paton

Going into 2006-07 season in my second year we were coming off a 4-0 sweep in the first round by what then was a powerhouse Simcoe Storm squad.
We had signed Derek Partlo as our head coach who brought in a great staff. We became a whole different team and went from a team with very little confidence and a so-so fan base to the talk of the league and brought in a tone of fans. The city seemed to be energized by us which did worders for our moral in the room. We were led by captain Brandon Schell and who I thought at the time was MVP of the league forward Shane Balcomb, two of my best friends at the time. All said and done we went into the first round locked up again with powerhouse and Ontario junior C ranked #1 team Simcoe Storm. This was the mostr epic seven game series of hockey I have ever been apart of. Schell breaking his foot and playing was incredible. Overcoming two massive losses at home in that series both in overtime. I remember Shane scoring in double over time and the two of us coliding in the air after he tapped in a Justin Potruff feed that just sent us into a frenzy and then after game & walking into the dressing realizing we had done what no team was supposed to do was the best feeling in the world. Brandon Schell and I split the award for “Best Defensive Player” award I was humbled by that because to split an award with a guy like him watching the way he played that series was just mind blowing. That season of hockey was my top notch memory not only as a Navy Vet but in life as well.
Thanks for the great years!!
Jamie Davis #10

Cant say enough about the Navy Vet Organization. I first came to the team as a 16 year old and really felt at home. I was fortunate to come back and captain and co-captain the team for a few seasons as well. The management, training, and coaching staff were always first class and the fans were top notch. Favourite memory would definetly be the roady’s to and from London with the boys and the battles with New Hamburg, especially in the playoffs. A big shoutout to Dave “The Hammer” Mclaren for taking me under his wing too.

Anthony Dolcetti


Not sure how to sum up some of the greatest times of your teenage years. From watching my cousin David Thomson play net at the perry dome, to following his foot steps and becoming a Navy Vet myself.. I’ve met some amazing people during my many years as a Vet. Some who we are still very close to date.
I have too many stories and memories to put just one down. A special thank you to my coach and friend that I still see every know and then Scott Brooks. For giving me the chance to play and for him making me part of the man I am today.
We had an amazing team, amazing chemistry and life long stories.

I’m very proud to be a Navy Vet. You can’t beat playing for your home team in your home town on Friday nights.

My mom always asked me, ” should I come to the game tonight ” … I always responded .. Why .. Her response was ” because you never finish a game ” … I loved it..

Scott Roode

If you’re a sports fan and you’re looking for an event to attend tonight, be sure to support the Woodstock Navy Vets Jr C hockey club as they celebrate 50 years.
Alumni get into the game versus Delhi for free.
There is also a pre-game reception and post-game party.
I’ve been reading the posts from alumni all week on FB and as sports editor of The Woodstock Sentinel-Review from 1992-98, I too have a lot of great memories from both the Perrydome and Southwood. I also grew up in Woodstock and remember the OHA finals loss to Penetang in 1984.

My list must begin with Sam Keeping and John Jensen. And, I fully realize I may forget a couple names so I will continue later (Or others may add names):

Ted Gilbert, Danny Dukes, Dean Vollmershausen, Jim Morrison, Bill Morris, Dave Bogart, John Thornton, Jeremy Lambert, Wayne Bertrand, Sharon Taylor, Tom Mitchell, Dave McLaren, Steve Chesley, Terry Empey, Scott Chahley, Steve Chesley, Scott Brooks, John Ungar, Bryan Abbey, Paul Start, Murray Paton, Jamie McLellan, John Rupert, Doug Salt, Rick Hendershott, Fred Williacy, Rick Kelly, Bruce Schlitt, Bert and Lynda Cowell, Dan Cowell, Ryan Schell, and Ken Crossett.

I must run now, but I will add more later.

Mark Schadenberg

Well where do I begin

It all started in 1968 when I began running the clock with my late Cousin Jimmy Adams.
That was my first year with the Navy Vets and heck; I’ve never really left for 47 years.
I have literally thousands of memories of important games, road trips, good times, bad times and everything in between.
I don’t really remember dates or years of these memories as over time they all just jumble together.
In 1969 I started helping out Bob McDonald as the assistant trainer, which I really took a liking to,
just being around the team, helping the players and just enjoying the team atmosphere was and is still why I love to do this!
When Bob left I took over as head trainer, I remember Cliff Langford and Bob Scott were in charge and Bob Brown was the GM at this time.
Ever since then I have acted as head trainer for the Woodstock Navy Vets, and what a ride its been.
Obviously I have to mention the Perry Street Arena, and all that came with it, I’ll just leave it at that!
One of my favorite early memories was when Ed McQueen was coaching I remember being in the Super C championships against Tillsonburg and St Thomas, again ask me what year that is, I have no idea.
Those years in the 70s 80s and 90s the team always had long road trips up north that all Vets players, coaches, trainers and some others would be apart of, those were some of the funniest and most memorable trips I have ever been apart of, (We won’t go into the details)

During these years I left the team for a year or so as I had 3 young children at home, but boy did I miss being around the team and organization.
I soon was back as Head Trainer and one of my next favorite memories was playing Essex and losing to them with Fred Murphy as the coach in the Semi Finals somewhere in the 80s.
I have a great memory With Murray and Brian Paton as our Coaches and going up North for the Ontario Championships and losing to Pennitang (or however the hell you spell it) in late 80s- early 90s. What an incredible team, and an incredible ride that was!
Next I remember our great ride in the mid 90’s when we won 3 consecutive division championships and the great Series against Bell River, who went on to win the all Ontario’s (we were the better team). I really thought that was the year we were going to win it all, again another great year!

Next I obviously remember our triple OT thriller against Chippewa, Brooks was our head coach then, when we won the series in our new Arena in front of thousands of people! I actually was shown that video just before writing this, what a memory!

I can go on and on about other memories, but the fondest memory I will always have will just be about being here, being around all these great kids, great young men, great coaches and great friends.
I have been apart of this team almost since the beginning, and I wouldn’t change that for anything.
50 Years WOW, I don’t know what else to say!

Dan Dukes

Hmm I don’t even remember what year I started.. Played six years for the Vets and went through the whole transition from vets to the renegades back to the vets. It was definitely a crazy 6 years. But it was so much fun. Outside the dressing room there may have been issues but it was inside the room where I had the most fun. My teammates were the best part of my time with the Vets and I wouldn’t have changed anything. Biggest playoff moment I remember was beating simcoe in game 7 down in simcoe.. We were the renegades that year

Justin Pottruff


To be honest, this is difficult for me… I just don’t know where to start and I prefer talking about the club rather than how I fit into it, but here it goes…

I grew up watching the Vets and listening to stories of past teams and moments as if they were a right of passage within Woodstock’s hockey community. When I got the opportunity to play for the team I was equal parts proud, excited and hopeful of what was to come. Through my 4 years with the club we always had a great group of guys in the room and regardless of how we played, we had a great time. Sharing in the common goal that we had, regardless of how close we were to obtaining it at the time is certainly something that I will always miss. Also, having the opportunity to represent the team and city as captain is certainly something that sticks out in my mind as I think back. In looking back it’s certainly bittersweet for me. I loved every minute but also wish we had accomplished more on the ice…

While these years were sometimes frustrating, I can’t help but believe that they were in some way necessary to what was to follow. Sometimes I catch myself in a moment when I can’t believe the position that I now find myself. Perhaps that’s why I can’t seem to pin point one moment in time that sticks out for me… I don’t think it’s happened yet!

Devon Young
09-10, 10-11, 11-12, 12-13