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Story First Productions

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Writer-Director-Producer Gretchen Kelbaugh

My goal was to make a feature using mainly members of my hockey team, Moms in Gear. I wonder if this is the first feature film made within a real hockey team? As we’re a team of women over 40, it is, of course, a comedy.


I didn't have much time to direct actors on this crazy project, as I usually had to do camera and audio at the same time. Once I had to set up the camera on a tripod and film myself, without anyone behind the camera. A true No-Budget. While not a professional cinematographer, I am pleased with the way the interviews, which are the backbone of the movie, turned out. 

With amateur actors, I decided to write some of the characters based, in part, on the women playing them, often exaggerating their traits. My first direction to all the actors was "Don't 

laugh, don't even smile, when you say your ridiculous lines." Many of the ‘facts’, and some of the funniest lines, are true. For example, there was a time when we celebrated a 6-1 loss as a close gam​e; we do, indeed, have only one fan; and Cindy was a contestant on Wipeout Canada.

To save money on locations, I wrote the players' places of work into the script. Thus we shot at the offices of a family doctor, a dentist and a massage therapist, all characters within the story. I used as much old team footage as I could, scanning back over a decade of videos and photos we had taken for fun.

My team was shocked with the news in October, 2017, of the murder of team member Cindy McCormick, one of the leads. This Saint John dentist with a big personality -- plus two children and a huge number of friends -- would have wanted the show to go on. We had shot the last scene a few weeks before she died, a victim of Intimate Partner Violence. I dedicate the film to her memory.

Screen Shots

Dr Cindy Caries (played by Dr Cindy McCormick)

explains the benefits of smoking.

Jen (played by herself)

recounts her epiphany to make a mature woman's chest protector.

Cindy appears on Wipeout Canada. "So I'm already a professional athlete."

Jen combines housework with a phone sex job.

Gretchen (playing, and being, one of the slowest members) explains why the Lucky Puckers celebrate a 6-1 loss as a 'close game'.

Lucky Puckers often fall for no apparent reason.

Players always warm up by taking a few shots before the game.

Telegraph Journal interview