Community Portrait

Local real estate agent is a real hockey mom

By: Michael Kirby
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Local real estate agent Noel Crider is pretty tough on the ice. Away from the hockey rink the warm and friendly Crider gives not even the slightest hint of the competitive nature of her personality that emerges when she puts on her skates, helmet and pads and takes to the ice as left wing on the Ice Dogs. Most of the time Crider is the only woman mixing it up on the ice even though she plays on a coed hockey team. Crider is not from Canada, nor the Midwest, where growing up playing hockey on frozen ponds is like religion. She was raised in the Bay Area, and got involved in hockey when her eldest son, Barry, wanted to take up hockey as a 7-year-old. “He came home with a flier one day. I didn’t even know that there was hockey in California,” Crider said. “I marveled at how they could skate and play this game at the same time.” Intrigued by the game, Crider soon found herself learning to ice skate. With the group of newbie hockey players, she joined a team. That was 13 years ago. When the Criders moved to the Auburn area in 2000, they made sure their relocation choices included a skating facility nearby, and they now play in hockey leagues at Skatetown in Roseville. Crider’s husband, Lon, plays goalie on a team and her eldest son still plays. Crider’s younger children have tried hockey but have found other sports to their liking, Brett playing varsity basketball for Placer High and Shelby playing volleyball at E.V. Cain and youth soccer. On Crider’s team, the Ice Dogs, she is the lone female but enjoys being treated like one of the boys on the ice. “It’s a coed league but I’m the only woman on our team. Last night we played against two females but sometimes there are no girls,” Crider said. “The nice thing about hockey is it’s so much more technique than strength.” Crider admits that even though she plays in a no-checking league, she doesn’t back off, even when faced with going for the puck against men much bigger and stronger than herself. “So far I’ve never been really hurt, a few bumps and bruises,” Crider said. “Some of the men are offended if I beat them on a play, but most of the time they’re good sports and I’ll hear, ‘Great play.’” Crider sometimes thinks she should play tennis or something more civilized, but she continues to sign up each season for hockey. “I think I can keep playing until I can’t contribute, and it’s good for me, it’s great exercise,” Crider said. Hockey is the first team sport Crider has played competitively, though she was always athletic. She played individual sports like swimming and gymnastics in high school. Crider finds it rewarding to be part of a team effort and gets a kick out of being part of a great play on her team. “Last night this guy got me a great pass and we were breaking in. He put the puck right on my stick. I shot on goal,” she said. “It didn’t go in, but that feeling of making that play was great. We high-fived each other knowing next time it’s going to go in.” Crider is a big supporter of area youth sports, and through her profession as a local real estate agent with Keller Williams, she has donated $100 of every escrow she closes to area sports programs. If the deal is from a referral in the sporting community, it’s a $200 donation. Recently Crider approached Mark Lee, Placer High’s athletic director, wanting to help out the basketball program. As of this year Crider makes a donation to Hillmen sports on every closed escrow. During basketball season the donation goes to the basketball program, but after that her goodwill goes into the Placer athletic fund.