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Capital Hockey Club Thrives - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Capital Hockey Club Thrives

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EAST MONTPELIER, Vt. -

The Capital Hockey Club has been around since the early 70's. 68-year old Tom Viall is the man that's been running the show. Normally he'd be on the ice between the pipes, but two recent hip replacements have him benched.

Tom joined the club in its second year. Just a few winters later he took over as commissioner.

"I sort of grew into it," he said. "Started out small, it was a labor of love. Once it's set up, it runs itself."

"He's very organized," said member Kevin Reed. "He does a lot of the background work, emailing everybody, getting the payments together."

When Viall took over, the club had just 4 teams. Today, there are six different programs that run virtually year around in several different rinks.

"It's definitely a source of pride for me, there's no question about it," Viall said.

One of the reasons for the group's longevity is the rules: No checking, no slapshots and no mention of the score.

"The joke is the first person that mentions the score in the lockeroom, buys the first round of beer," Viall said.

After nearly four decades of running The Capital Hockey Club, Tom Viall is retiring, leaving some big skates to fill.

"It was time. It was time. I tried to give it up about 10 years ago and they wouldn't let me," Viall said.

"He's done a lot for us, pulled a group of people together to play fun hockey," Reed said.

Tom is handing things over to the one woman who plays in the club, U-32 and UVM grad Brittany Clark. She'll have some help from father as well.

"I think it's tough for him to be stepping down, but It's just a long standing great group of guys and we're just hoping to keep it going for a long time," Clark said.

After years of serving his community's hockey needs Tom Viall is headed to Florida for the Winter.

"No question I'll miss the hockey," Viall said.

Now a snow bird, but for years he's been the reason the Capital Hockey Club has soared. 

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