By Jeremy Ellis
During my career at NARCh I have worn a few hats. It started off as a referee, and when I was in that role, an 8 goal mercy was a Refs best friend. Now for the tournament, ideally you want the games to be close, but when you skate 10-15 games a day, that little extra break can mean the world.
Now that I am in a Tournament Director role, I root for the close game. The crowd is more intense, the victory sweet, and the losing team comes out feeling like they were ‘this close!’ Lucky for me in my new role, the 2017 West Coast NARCh Finals have been top heavy with close games. Today alone there have been 5 one goal games, one tie, and 2 overtime playoff games, both producing upsets over the #1 and #2 seeds in Squirt Silver.
The Championship games have been nothing short of dramatic as well, with the PAMA Labeda Golden Knights Mens Platinum team doing some heavy lifting, winning in OT in the semis and Final en route to a Men’s Platinum cup hoist. Earlier this week it was semifinal games stealing the show over finals with multiple games going to OT and even Double OT.
One new thing this year at the Finals is our inaugural podcasts. I hope everyone gets a chance to tune into these if they can as they have been a blast. We have taken these to do some division recaps, interviews, and ‘bar banter’ as we have finished the evening with a few pops going over the day’s action and Finals of years gone by. The funny thing about these chats is that they never get old. Sprinkled in with the classic stories that I have heard a time or two in my days, it never fails that I hear a new story that ends up being a new gut buster for me. There are always some good ones that get thrown about of our “off-rink” activities, but those are what makes an event like this so fun; all of the things that we only get to do once or twice a year.
With the addition of our new sponsor GoPro, the skills competitions have been extra fierce. Good numbers have turned out for our fastest skater and in the Sniper competition the shooters have dug into their bag of tricks as they are shooting for that GoPro HERO 5. We had one by Colton Clapman of the Rockets that made it to Instagram status. He may be the early leader in the clubhouse but we still have a long way to go.
As we work our way through Day 5, we move into Bantam Silver Club playoffs. Junior Platinum is in full swing and I expects some good hard play late into the evening here at Silver Creek. Jake Escarcega is always a fun one to watch as he does a good job getting under the skin of his opponents. He will take to the floor again tonight along with his C2C Outsiders against the Konixx Outcasts. We look forward to another busy one tomorrow as we hand out metals in 4 championships.
Look out for another podcast coming up and remember to follow all the action on our live scoring. Until next time hockey fans!