Sat AM Update from Escondido
It feels good to be here at the Escondido Sports Center located a North County San Diego. This is my home rink and the closest to my home, which is about a half hour with no traffic. That’s Southern California for you, but well worth the trade off to live in such a beautiful place.
The facility here has made a few improvements. Probably not as evident to those who don’t play here on a regular basis but I notice and appreciate them. Probably the most noticeable improvement are some new panes of plexiglass, which makes watching the games much more pleasant.
This is a two-rink facility with a covered top and open sides, very similar to Irvine Inline, which really gives you an open California Vibe instead of the alternative, which is often a stuffy rink. Not many places you can rock the sunglasses at the rink and not look like a goofball.
54 Teams are competing here, which is the largest tournament we’ve ever had in San Diego. There’s a lot of So Cal and San Diego based teams, but the main reason it’s larger is due to the number of teams that traveled in from Northern California, Arizona, and Nevada. It makes for some matchups between teams that have never played each other before, which is obviously cool. If you traveled in and are reading this, thanks for coming and we hope you have a great time and come back next year!
With the Kings in the Cup you see a lot more black and white around the rink than usually. A lot of die hard fans and probably even more bandwagon fans, but that’s cool. It’s just nice for them to be in it and should be great for hockey in So Cal. I just wish the media did a better job with the coverage, as many outlets that are giving it more attention due to their success are butchering the coverage because they’re not too hockey savvy.
There’s a good buzz here at the rink but unfortunately no sponsors. Most are at the IIHF World Championships in Germany and are part of that in some capacity. I watched some of the coverage out of the corner of my eye on my computer yesterday while working and I have to say that the coverage is very good. If you love the sport, check it out. Most of the best players in the world are in that tourney.
3 players on Team USA are actually from San Diego and I was lucky enough to coach them when they were young and before I took over NARCh. Nielsson Arcibal, Raf Rodriguez, and Nathan Sigmund. I only coached Nathan one year, but Nielsson and Raf for many. All great guys and I wish them a lot of luck and hope Team USA brings home GOLD!
It’s a busy weekend with two other events going on in Buffalo and Long Island, so I’m sure the NARCh Page will look different every few hours with updates. We’ve already seen some solid hockey this morning. The sun is out and it looks like a beautiful day. As far as regional qualifiers are concerned, it doesn’t get much better than this!