By Alex Morrison
It is the last weekend for NARCh Regional Qualifiers, and Langford, BC is the location. We could not have picked a better spot! This beautiful resort community has a sparkling newer facility that might be one of the nicest places that has ever hosted a regional.
Check out the pictures posted earlier, showing some of the offerings here, including 2 rinks (one ice and one dry floor), a splash pad, mini golf, bowling alley, 2 full size soccer pitches, and restaurant & bar.
Looking at the schedule, you will see teams hailing from only British Columbia here, but that in no way makes this a “local” event. Victoria is on a true island, Vancouver Island, meaning that teams from the mainland (Zulu, Warriors) have to take a 1 hour 30 minute ferry ride across the Strait of Georgia to Swartz Bay, then drive 30 minutes to the rink. Even though this seems like quite a hike, I must say that the trip is worth it. The island is definitely one of the nicest and most scenic places I have ever visited in Canada. Too bad we don’t get to spend much time outside of the rink!
Speaking of the rink, we are already 6 games into the event, with 50 still to be played. The Bantam Division has already played their first round of games, with Eagle Ridge and Zulu A looking strong in their respective games. The Mite Division has also seen a few games tonight.
Junior/Men’s is the largest group of the weekend with 12 teams playing. The first game in that division was about an hour ago. I walked over to the rink to find IIHF World Champion Kirk French suited up for a team called the Back Door Bandits. I asked if he had his newly won gold medal to show off for everyone. He said he didn’t, but that Max Grassi and Tom Woods would be coming tomorrow to play on the team and might bring theirs. Hmmmm 3 gold medalists on the same team? Wow! I have a feeling they will do just fine this weekend.
4 hours down, 5 to go tonight. We will have more tomorrow from City Centre Park in B.C.