It’s good to be back at the Hershey Centre. As soon as I walk in it brings back a lot of good memories from past NARCh FINALS that were held here in ’06 and ’09. The main bowl is on pretty tight lock-down because they’re filming the HBO Show called Transporter right now. I might have to try to sneak a peek later to check it out. There are two sportscourt floors down and both are being used for the busy event. Even without access to the bowl this facility is nicer than most, especially with the elevated seating, large rinks, and ample locker rooms.
I spent a lot of the day yesterday with Phil Nolan. He’s doing a great job building his Mississauga Rattler Rep teams, that’s what they call them up here, as well as his house league that plays out of this facility. When we were in the car yesterday he got a call from a 10 yr old with a jersey number request for the tourney, which I got a chuckle out of. Phil goes the extra mile for the kids and truly loves the sport.
There’s an 8u division here that took a little extra energy to develop, but with Phil’s hard work and the help from Bryan Pryde, we have two local teams to play against the Bordercats who traveled in from Detroit. By the first set of games it clearly looks like the Bordercats will win this division because of their tournament experience playing against basically two house league teams. Hopefully the two new teams will have a great time and this will be the first of many tournaments in their future.
The bantam division is in full swing this morning and it’s very competitive. Games are a bit physical but not out of control. The kids really grind and play hard. I’m looking forward to watching a lot of the action from this division the next 24 hours.
Squirts are also playing this morning, and the main question is who will end of playing the Coyotes’99s for the gold championship, as they are clearly the best team in the division. The rest of the teams look like they’ll be competitive with each other too, which works out well since we have a silver championship too.
I’m excited for the Junior/Mens to start in a few hours. With 12 teams, most don’t have any idea about the teams they’re playing, which is one of the most exciting things about playing in larger tournaments. We have teams here from Detroit, Buffalo, Montreal, Ottawa, and all over Ontario.
Unfortunately there’s a tight firewall here so I can’t upload or download things, so a lot of updates may need to wait for a FedEx/Kinkos run. I also can’t check or reply to emails, which is a real bummer since I have so many people to communicate with about the FINALS while being here.
It’s good to be up here though. I know it’s been too long when people come up to the booth and say they talked to Daryn without even knowing that I am Daryn.