By Lonny Lovins:
I want to wish everyone a good morning from beautiful Huntington Beach, and reiterate that it is nice living in California. I was on a beach in Mexico yesterday morning, flew into town last night, and already I feel like I am back in paradise. The sun is shining, the temperature is great, and the hockey is always just a bit better out here.
While vacation was nice, it is always good to come back to the familiar faces of the hockey world. NARCh has a way of bringing around the best people. I enjoy hanging out, with what always feels like, an extended family. Maybe it is just the beach community that brings out the best in everyone.
There is a great feeling of respect amongst the teams that are playing. While on the rink the players may be clawing and fighting for every chance to win the game, once it is all over, those feelings dissipate, people get along, and everyone hangs out like they are old friends. If you have been around sports long enough, you know that there isn’t a sport around that has the camaraderie that you find with hockey. Whether it be a parent going on a food run and asking if we would like anything, or kids from different teams passing the puck around in between games, it doesn’t get any better than our sport.
I have covered enough of the human aspect of hockey, now to the animal aspect that drives the sport. Last night the Pro/Platinum division got rolling. The rink here may be a little small, but the top level guys have been brought up knowing how to stick handle around giants in a phone booth, so they were unfazed. The smaller rink produced a lot of quick, end to end action. What we saw were teams coming back from, what seemed like insurmountable deficits, to make games close. It was a spectacle to watch.
The Midget and Bantam kids got off to a quick start as well. While their games didn’t have quite the back and forth of the Pro/Platinum division, the skills that they showcased were very impressive.
With the morning sun came the little guys, that atoms, mites, squirts and pee wees are going now. It is still early, so I don’t have a ton to write about on them yet. However, if this morning’s games are any indication, we should see a lot of action from all of our divisions before this tournament comes to a close.