Written by Casey Wedge
After a morning packed with games and a whole afternoon of games in full affect a few teams begin to emerge in each division as the big teams to beat. In the squirt division, both the HB Mission Militia 11th Battalion and House Hockey Army came out strong in their first games defeating their opponents 8-1 and 5-1, respectively. Coincidentally the teams met in their second match up of the tournament and battled in a close, back and forth, up and down, grinding and gritty game with the House Hockey Army pulling out a 4-3 win. By the way for those not familiar with Hockey House, they’re from the new facility in Vancouver that goes by the same name.
In the peewee division the NCR Tour Elite came out swinging with two wins to start the tourney. Both wins came in the most efficient and seemingly ruthless fashion possible – 8-0 mercies. NCR Tour Elite team member Anthony Carter was quoted saying, “I think we’ll do good if we keep doing what we’ve been doing,” illustrating the teams reliance on the established systems and routines. Danny Higa, also a member of the NCR Tour Elite, stated that his team will be “solid for the championship game.” Another team to watch as the tournament progresses is the Hockey House Army who, similarly to the Elite, won their first game by a demanding 8-0 performance. With more peewee games this afternoon it’ll be interesting to see if these two teams continue through the tournament unscathed or face some teams willing to provide them with a tougher battle.
The bantam division just got started a few hours ago but the mood is already tense as teams’ progress through the round robin portion of the tournament. Raiders head coach Jim Irwin says “there’s a lot of talented teams here as always” and looks forward to the rest tournament. The bantam division seems to be jam packed with fast paced, high tempo teams hungry to see some points on the scoreboard.
As the day continues to unfold more and more people are rolling in and the place is packed. Alkali RPD pro team player, Rob Alexander, stated “the boys are fired up” and really looking forward to tonight’s match ups against the Las Vegas Tour Rebels and the Pama Cyclones. Still to come for the opening day of the 2013 West Coast Winternationals men’s silver, men’s platinum, and the pro divisions.