What a week. I’ve traveled all over the California Coast, was part of an awesome 62 team NARCh Qualifier, and now it’s about 7 hour drive, give or take, back to San Diego. I’m honestly sad that the fun journey is over but super excited to see my wife, kids, and cuddle on the couch with my dog. Here’s a wrap up of how the divisions played out this weekend.
The cub and atom divisions finished yesterday and I mentioned them in a previous blog, so let’s jump right into the mite division. 7 teams made up this division, which is a scheduling nightmare. Since we have two pretty distinct levels of competition and we know the teams well from Nor Cal Cup, we split the division before it started into 3-gold and 4-silver.
In gold the Delta River Rats and Silicon Valley Quakes had two great battles, tying one and the Quakes taking the second game 7-6, which left the Rats out of the championship. The Revision Mustangs have been the team to beat all year and proved it once again by taking the title over the Quakes in convincing fashion. The Mustangs have a very balanced attack, with 7 different goal scorers making up the 8 goals scored in the final.
In mite silver the Stockton Thunder took the title over the Ripon Red Tails. The Red Tails had a number of chances and hit 3 posts in two shifts while I was watching, so the 7-2 final score wasn’t a great reflection of the true flow of the game. Hunter Martin and Max Clark were all over the score sheet for the Thunder, combing for 5 goals in the championship game.
Squirt – The San Jose Tsunami grabbed the #1 seed in this 10-team division by going 3-0 and only allowing 1 goal against in the prelims. Rampage Delta also cruised and grabbed the #2 seed by allowing 2 against while also picking up 3 wins. There would be no upsets in the semis and these two teams would meet in the final and offer a thrilling gold championship game. The game would go into the half knotted at 3-3. The goalies and defense tightened in the second and I was sure we were headed to overtime.
Unfortunately I stepped into the war room for a second and missed the game winner, as Jamie Calma scored for Delta and the crowd erupted with just 22 seconds left. She also added an insurance empty netter and Rampage Delta took gold over the Tsunami in one of our best games of the tournament.
Squirt silver would also be a nail biter between the Delta River Rats and Jr Thunder. The two big scoring guns in this game were Hunter Sine for the Rats and Leo Montes De Oca for the Thunder. Hunter had 4 goals and Leo had 3, but in the end it’s a team sport and the Delta River Rats were just a little deeper, pulling this one out 6-4.
Peewee – 10 teams made up the peewee division. Rampage Delta and Norcal Swaglete went through the prelims undefeated, and would fittingly meet for the gold championship. Swaglete took the tougher route though, needing a shootout win in the semi final over the Nor Cal Elite to get there. Rampage Delta has been together a while and always have great games with the River Rats and Elite, as I consider these 3 the top in Nor Cal. Swaglete is newly formed and appear to be ice guys that competed well all weekend with the 3 mentioned. In the end Rampage Delta would wear down Swaglete and take the gold title 4-2.
NorCal Extreme would lose in the prelims to Swaglete and with the loss would drop to the silver division to face the Bauer Riot for the championship. The Riot defeated the Half Moon Bay Cougars in the semifinal. The Cougars are an organization that seem to surface for our tournaments when the FINALS are in town. As a general statement the NorCal Extreme Organization has good coaching, good goaltending, and play disciplined. These are the characteristics that often land teams in championship games, and in this one they took the gold over the Riot by a final of 6-1.
Bantam – This division was our largest with 12 teams. The class of the division was definitely NCR Elite Brown, who steamrolled everyone. Their closest game was against a solid Chico Firebirds team that kept it close in the gold semi-final, which ended 6-3. In the championship they played the Delta River Rats, which was surprisingly one-sided, as these two usually play each other close.
The silver championship would match up the Silicon Valley Quakes and Jr Savage from Ripon. By all accounts this was a defensive battle, going into half tied with no goals for either side. About a minute into the second half Brenton Ratley put the Savage on the board and that lone goal would hold up to be the game winner. Ripon also added an empty netter and would finish the tournament with a shutout, 2-0.
Midget – The Elite arguably have all the best players in Nor Cal for this age, which is saying a lot. They really didn’t get challenged, scoring a total of 28 goals for and allowing 0. That’s right, zero. Most teams at this age that are good are very cocky. They are not. They just play hard and have fun and are very talented. I’m excited to see how they will stack up against some platinum teams that come to town this summer. It’s worth noting that the Dream Team got past the Gamma Cats and were undefeated until the gold championship, but their dream turned into a nightmare when they went up against the Elite.
For the silver final it was the Norcal Nightriders and Rampage facing off, with some very colorful new red jerseys. The Nightriders have many of the NorCal Extreme bantam players also playing up, and like I said before they are disciplined and have good goaltending. This was enough to win the championship over the Rampage, who spent much of the game in the penalty box. The final score was 5-2 but I would say that if the Rampage could focus a little more it would be a coin toss championship if replayed.
Mens – Two teams full of all the best local talent would meet for the championship in this one, NCR Elite and Bodangles. The Elite would defeat everyone to take the #1 seed but Bodangles had tough games against both Velocity, who they defeated 6-5, and HockeyTron, who tied them 3-3 in the prelims and they beat 3-2 in the Semi.
These two teams have a lot of speed, I mean A LOT! Elite would burry their chances, as Benji Caliz and Rich Nash had a couple of goals each for the Elite and they would win by a final of 5-2.
I’m very proud of all of our tournament directors, referees, and extended staff working at Silver Creek. Without being surrounded by hard working people that love the sport NARCh Hockey wouldn’t be what it is.
Thanks for spending your weekend with us at the rink and we look forward to seeing the majority of these teams and families at the Nor Cal Cup Championships in May and of course the NARCh FINALS in July!