A Complete Guide for the 2022 NARCh Finals Pro Division
By: Raine Hernandez
The wait is finally over.
After what has already been a great week of action, the 2022 NARCh Finals finally introduces the pro division to the event, as 12 teams come into the Rinks at Irvine Inline to compete for a cash prize of $12,000.
Before Thursday’s first matchup between Vegan Pig Hockey and Unify Black Ice, here are some of the most intrguiging storylines followed by everything you need to know to help get you set for the biggest event of the roller hockey season.
Complete Round Robin Schedule
Welcome to NARCh Pro
The Pro division at the 2022 NARCh Finals features several new teams entering the playing field:
Players to Watch:
- Alkali Cows: Brett Leggat, Jansco David, Luke Stephenson
- HOAPA NCI Phoenix: Lukas Uhler, Jackson Wozniak, Don Carter
- Konixx: Brandon Glover, Alex Macdonald, Daniel Brabec (G)
- Labeda Shakers: Martin Fiala, Brendan Baumgartner, Niklas Myllynen (G)
- Pama Labeda Golden Knights: Travis Noe, Brett Olinger, John Siemer
- RDN: Eric Bucholz (G), CJ Bateman, Wes Schaeffer
- Skittles: Dylan Abbamont, Jaden Guzman, Charlie Robinson (G)
- Rink Rat: Gerald Osterkamp, Skylar Hoar, Parker Moskal
- Tour Roadrunners: Joey DiMartino, Max Halvorsen, Frankie Jirak
- Unify Black Ice: PJ DiMartino, Tyler Kraft, Nathan Sigmund
- Vegan Pig Hockey: Chris Ochoa, Tyler Maxwell, Lucas Massie (G)
- WC Konixx: Brett Bulmer, Chase De Leo, Shaun Furlong
PAMA looks to add to their trophy case
It has been an impressive 12-months for Rob Chornomud and the Pama Labeda Golden Knights. After defeating Unify Black Ice in last year’s event, Pama would later follow up those victories with championship victories at the 2021 Pacific Cup Finals, and earlier this year at Winternationals, racking up a total of 29,000 in prize money.
If the Golden Knights were to repeat as champions in 2022, that would bring their total up to $41,000, an impressive feat to say the least.
The Canadians Return to Irvine
After a few years away from NARCh due to the pandemic, the NARCh Pro division welcomes roller hockey players coming from north of the border, as this year’s event features a great group of players playing from Canada.
This includes the likes of the WC Konixx team comprising mostly of Canadian-born players such as Brett Bulmer, Shaun Furlong, Konixx welcomes the return of Brandon Glover and Kyle Henderson, the man between the pipes for the Alkali Cows is none other than Brett Leggat, while Skittles also has their Canadian core of Dylan Abbamont, Carter Buehlow, Bryan Foster, and Patrick Vulgan.
Another Step for the Labeda Shakers
From winning in Men’s Gold and later following it up with a Men’s Platinum Championship in 2019, the Labeda Shakers make their return to the NARCh Finals, this time making their debuts in the Pro Division in 2022.
The Shakers feature a roster comprising mostly of players from the Czech Men’s National Team coming off of a Silver Medal finish at the 2022 World Games in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this week, but also welcomes the additions of the likes of Anthony Merrigan and another Canadian, Brendan Baumgartner.
Unify Black Ice make big-time additions
Despite their past success in the Pro division at the NARCh Finals, the Unify Black Ice have yet to win the event for quite some time now. Black Ice were just a bounce away from winning it all last summer and will most certainly be in the mix to be the last team standing when it’s all said and done.
Hoping to climb over the hump and once again reclaim pro roller hockey supremacy, the Black Ice have added the likes of Charlie Combs, PJ Kavaya, Stephen Versteegan, and Nathan Sigmund to their roster, shaping up to be one of the most polarizing teams in the division.
As mentioned previously, Black Ice begins their quest for another championship squaring off against Vegan Pig Hockey in the first game of the division.
Tour Roadrunners look to reclaim 2019 magic
Another team from the East Coast looking to return to form is the Tour Roadrunners. After defeating Rink Rat to take home the NARCh Pro West Coast Championship in 2019, an event where the Roadrunners core would later come away with victories in the 24U and 21U divisions as well.
However, in last year’s event, the Roadrunners came short in their quest to go 3/3 in Irvine, losing to Black Ice in both Pro and D1, and later losing to BoDangles in 21U.
Fast forward a full year, the Roadrunners will square off against the Alkali Cows, Rink Rat, the Labeda Shakers, and WC Konixx in their pool of round robin games, and as long as the trio of Joey DiMartino, Nicholas Dellamorte and Max Halvorsen are on the floor, the Roadrunners will do everything in their power to make some damage in the division.