Blog #2 from Jeremy Ellis
By Jeremy Ellis
Day 2 is flying by here in Irvine. The rinks have been buzzing along all day long as teams have filed on and off the floor. The 12s and 16s have been playing their second set of games today while jostling for seeding. Teams on the edge of gold/platinum and silver/club know that every goal matters and have been playing things close to the vest.
As of this writing the 16u divisions are finishing up. In platinum 3 teams are separating themselves from the pack; Skittles 01, North Shore Zulu, and the Revolution Black 01s. None of these 3 have lost and it will come down to tiebreakers, likely goals against. That’s where the Zulu find themselves in great shape with 0 against as of this writing. Those three are likely to be the only platinum participants and it should be a great conclusion in that division.
The 12s were finished earlier today and the seeds have been posted here and online. Leading the charge in Platinum is the Angry Ducks who edged out the Pama Labeda Golden Knights on tiebreakers for the 1 seed and the bye it provides. The Golden Knights will have to face the revolution 05 for the right to play on. Seeds 4 through 12 will play for Gold. In prime position as the 4 seed are the San Diego Rockets 05. They will await the winner of the Jokers and the San Diego Rockets 06.
The Silver division should be a barn burner as well with Temecula, the Bulldogs Blue, and the Renegades all going undefeated. Temecula will get the best road as the #1 seed from the goals against tiebreaker. There are 5 other teams though looking to crash the party. The club division has shown to be very even and any of the remaining 8 teams can come away with gold.
A few other divisions started today including the Mens Platinum/pro combo and also the Womens Platinum/gold. The Pama Labeda Golden Knights clubs got off to hot starts in both divisions with multiple lopsided wins in womens and the Knights platinum and pro teams looking good in mens.
I would likely give the edge right now in Pro to the Golden Knights. They looked very sharp in their opener today. The Tour Mudcats are a new look team and have brought in some reinforcements from around the globe. I think with the many new faces it may take a few games for this unit to become familiar and gel a bit. CJ Yoder still pulls the strings for the Mudcats and I expect them to get on the same page quickly. The Raiders HC club handed the Mudcats a loss in that first game and ae looking ot shake up the division a bit. Six mens division games remain tonight which will set the tone for these teams and how the top 4 teams look heading into tomorrow.
Players in the Mens division were able to take it a bit easy earlier tonight during the skills competition. We were running a bit ahead after the disappointing turnout for the womens skills competition led to its cancellation. I was personally hoping to get some of our top women out as I know they have some skills to showcase!
After a slight delay to rally the boys, the mens skills got off to a flying start with 6 fastest skater participants. It came down to John Seimer and Miguel from Spain who plays with the Labeda Pama Shakers. Miguel was off to a fast start but the experience of Seimer paid off as he edged his way to the title.
The sniper vs goalie showdown lived up to the hype with TNT – Tommy Tartaglione making his NARCh return from injury to outlast 3 other netminders. Along the way snipers were shown the door until two Rink Rat Tricksters remained. Itan Chavira and Steven Verstagen were the final 2 and Steven led off with a nifty tally. Needing a goal to extend the competition, Itan slowly approached the net. Itan worked methodically through a series of fakes before trying to stuff one past the sprawling goaltender. The puck squirted towards the goal but met its fate just short of the promise land, giving Verstagen the crown. Congrats to Tommy, John, and Steven on thrilling wins.
We open up Saturday bright and early at 7am and jump right into playoffs for 12u silver, club, and gold divisions. Our first two championship games of this weekend are the 12 and 16 platinum championships scheduled for the afternoon. Be sure to stop by and personalize those medals with Mike Schwartz and his engraving machine located next to the NARCh booth. See everyone at the rink!!