12U, 16U, 21U Championship Recaps from the NARCh FINALS
12U, 16U, 21U Championship Recaps
By: Raine Hernandez
A total of 700+ days since the last NARCh ended, two years later, the NARCh Finals is back at the Rinks at Irvine Inline for their first major tournament since the last game from the 2019 event. Needless to say, it’s great to be back!
We find ourselves mid-way through the tournament, and with several divisions already with a champion, our second batch of divisions had championships games of their own, and here’s how those games shaped up on day 7 of the NARCh Finals. Results are in order of how the day played out.
12U Gold – Konixx Knighthawks vs. Bulldogs Blue
In the opening championship game of the day was a matchup between the Konixx Knighthawks and the Bulldogs Blue, two teams that already seen each other earlier in the tournament during round robin play. In that game, The Bulldogs would pull away with the 5-4 victory. However, this time around was a much different result.
Led by the dynamic duo of Joey Lepore and Brayden Willis, the Knighthawks would pull off the 5-1 victory in the championship game, exact their revenge against the Bulldogs from earlier in the tournament, and come away with the 12U Gold Championship division.
12U Platinum – Angry Ducks 08 vs. Tour OC Blades 08
The second championship game of the day featured a heavyweight bout with the always strong Angry Ducks 08 group, and Skyler Hoar’s Tour OC Blades team. Both teams dealt with adversity in their respective semi-final games, as the Angry Ducks defeated the Labeda Jets in a 5-4 game that was extremely competitive, meanwhile the Blades pulled away with the 8-4 victory against the Konixx Outcasts, setting up a very interesting matchup in the championship game.
In an evenly matched game, it was Steven Khonroo that would step up big time for the Blades, tallying two goals in the final game, and in addition to the strong goaltending from Cyrus Kottmeier, the Blades would come out with the 12U Platinum championship.
16U Platinum – Tour Roadrunners 04 vs. Angry Ducks
The common phrase throughout tournament hockey is that it’s “hard to beat the same team twice”, and in the case for the 16U Platinum championship, it held up to a tee. In round robin play, the Angry Ducks squared off against the Tour Roadrunners in what was primed to be a preview for the future.
In this tilt it was the Angry Ducks who would come out with the 3-2 victory, when it was time to rematch came a much different result from the previous matchup. Looking for something to prove, the Roadrunners came out the gate guns blazing, as Austin Soboslay led the way for the Roadrunners, claiming their first championship for the Roadrunners organization at the NARCh Finals, as they defeated the Ducks by a score of 4-1.
12U Club – Bulldogs Black vs. Tour OC Blades 09
Meanwhile in the 12U Club division, the OC Blades organization once again were competing for a championship squared off against the Bulldogs Black. It was a dominant performance for the Blades, as Logan Herpin and Christian Smith led the way with scoring five of the six goals, as the Blades defeated the Bulldogs by a score of 6-1.
12U Silver – Pure Octane Hockey vs. Oregon Rollin’ Reign Black
The 12U Silver division championship was a matchup between Pure Octane Hockey and the Oregon Rollin’ Reign Black. Continuing in familiar trend to the 16U Platinum division, when these two teams squared off in the round robin, it was Oregon who came out on top with a 5-4 victory.
However, it was a complete opposite game in the championships, as the Octane poured it on offensively, filling the net with 7 goals as Connor Hayes continued his success from the skills competition and tallied a hat-trick as the Pure Octane would get their revenge, but with a gift of a gold medal around their necks.
16U Silver – Bulldogs Black vs. Bend Bullets
In a very back and forth battle in the 16U Silver division, the Bulldogs Black and the Bend Bullets were fighting for the goal of winning a NARCh championship. This was nothing new for both teams as in round robin, these two teams squared off, in a game that ended in a 2-2 tie.
After the Bullets came out the gate quick with a 3-0 lead, the Bulldogs would claw their way back early in the second to even the score at 3. With under 6 minutes remaining in regulation, Hayden Desmond would score the game winner for the Bullets, as they would defeat the Bulldogs Black to secure the 16U Silver Championship.
16U Gold – Konixx Warriors vs. Konixx Outcasts 04
It was a very eventful path for the Konixx Outcasts 04 to get to the 16U Gold Championship game. In a semi-final matchup that featured a battle between both Outcast teams, the 04’s would rally back in the last five minutes down 3-1 to put the game in the overtime, where they would complete the comeback to set up a date against the Konixx Warriors.
Kade Pareja was all over the floor in this game, as the Outcasts player had two goals and two assists as the Outcasts completed their run to the championship with a cherry on top, winning the gold medal, defeating the Warriors by a score of 6-4.
21U Gold – Bananas vs. Mayhem
After the Bananas defeated the Roadrunners LK in overtime to make it into the championship game, little did they know they would find themselves in yet another game that would need an extra period of hockey, facing off against a very relentless Mayhem team.
Carrying his OT magic from a few hours before, Travis Alexander from the Bananas would wire it home yet again, this time leading his team to a championship victory in the 21U Gold division.
21U Platinum – Bodangles vs. Tour Roadrunners 99
In what was arguably one of the most exciting games of the entire NARCh Finals, the Tour Roadrunners 99 looked to continue their dominance in the 21U division, facing off against the #1 seeded Bodangles team that features a group of players that are still eligible to play in their first year of 18U. It was a very physical game that featured a very fast pace, as Joey DiMartino would score to give the Roadrunners the lead in the first period. Shortly after, Aidan Hreschuk would even up the score heading into the second period.
Led by the goaltending of Lucas Massie in combination with their suffocating defense, Ean Somoza would wrist one past Kavan Johnson in what would be the eventual game-winner, as Bodangles continues a dynasty of their own at the NARCh Finals, this time claiming the 21U Platinum Championship.