Calling it a wrap on Day 1 WINTERNATIONALS

It’s after 10pm here at the Silver Creek Sportsplex and we’ve been going strong for about 16 hours. We are just over 70 games in, but the night’s still young in terms of hockey to be played with about 14 still to go.

In Squirts, almost every team played 3 games today and there are 4 teams that went 3-0: KIHA Warriors, Puckhogs, Tsunami, and West Coast Warriors.

Most of the Peewees also saw three games each today and Anarchy Red, NCR Elite, and the West Coast Warriors all finished the day without a loss or tie.

We’re sort of in the middle of Bantam action and we have four teams that are 2-0: Chico Firebirds, XDH, NCR Elite Brown, and the NorCal Extreme.

Men’s Silver teams are in their second game of the night and it’s a little too early to get a true read on that division, but it looks like there are going to be some great matchups ahead.

The usual suspects in NARCh Pro look like they’ll make the playoffs: Tour Mudcats, Axiom, Pama Cyclones, and Larceny. AKS looks a little light players while the Las Vegas Tour Rebels look like they have a deeper bench then I’ve seen in the past. The two new teams are the West Covina High Rollers and Goodlife.

It’s still very early and anything can happen, but I would say that if things go as expected, the real question is which team will grab the last playoff seed. As we know very well from the past, once you’re in the playoffs anything can happen and it’s a brand new ball of wax.

Just had a quick conversation with Joe Cook, who’s been a long time friend, and at one time not so long ago, a force to be reckoned with playing against me on the rink. Joe started Alkali, along with co-founder Justin Hoffman. He’s also going to coach the IIHF USA Team in 2012 and we had a quick chat about players. Pretty much simultaneously we mentioned the same guy who is an absolute stud and is known inside the pro division as a great player, but isn’t exactly a household roller hockey name. The guy we were both talking about is Travis Noe of the Larceny.

He’s been getting noticeably better every single tournament for about the last 2-3 years and is now one of the very best in the sport. Like so many players that have been playing NARCh forever, he’s got two great parents who’ve been supportive since he was tiny and wouldn’t think about missing his games. Travis deserves a little recognition for becoming such a solid, well-respected player. His parents deserve some recognition for raising a good young man.

The tournament is in great hands but I’m going to call it a day here and get back early in the morning. There’s a good chance that I will be dreaming about this hockey tournament tonight, and I’m guessing I’m not alone.