Last quick recap in Alpharetta by Alex Morrison
We just finished last day at the NARCh Finals in Alpharetta, GA, and had 6 championship trophies that were handed out in the men’s divisions that took over our final weekend. Here is how everything finished up.
Car Shield and the Rink Rat Wildcats squared off in this one, which featured arguably the best 2 teams we saw this weekend. They played each other in the initial round, with Car Shield getting the better of Rink Rat, winning 5-2. In the final, Rink Rat jumped out to an early lead, and then went into a defensive shell. They were able to hold off the offensive firepower of Car Shield for the 1st half, finishing the period up 1-0. The second half started off much like the first, with Car Shield possessing the puck for most of the start of the period. Finally, they were able to get on the board, as Cody Page fired a laser to Sean Sullivan who was waiting on the back door to finish. Sully scored again a few minutes later, and now it was Rink Rat that needed to put their collective foot on the gas. They were able to generate some scoring chances, but the last shot on net was blocked by PJ Tallo, and Car Shield took home the gold with a 2-1 win.
Hot as Fire and Slanging Birds were the teams that battled through the playoffs to make it to the championship game. It took an upset by Hot as Fire, beating Tendy Problems in the semifinal to get here, and the Birds had to take down the hometown favorite Cooler Selects. The teams played conservatively to start this one, but eventually the Birds were the first on the board, as Jack Mali and Michael Curtis teamed up to put a puck past Anthony Szafranski of Hot as Fire. That duo teamed up again in the second half, and a third time as well on a beautiful play to give Slanging Birds a 3-1 win, and the Gold Championship.
The Tour Roadrunners and Michigan Mavericks were the cream of the crop in this division, and they battled it out to see who would be crowned champion. Chris Corso of the Roadrunners led things off with an early goal, and then the team played the puck possession game. While the Mavericks were able to generate 10 shots on net in the first half, Dan Cordle of the Roadrunners turned them all away. In the second half, the Mavericks finally broke the scoreless streak as John Petruno stuffed a puck in the net. The Roadrunners responded quickly, as Mike Colella scored, and then scored again, as the division’s high scorer had the game winning goal and the gold medal to his credit after this 3-1 win.
In what might have been the wildest finish of the entire event, the Mayhem faced the ATL Swarm in a very even matched game. Each team took their lumps getting here, but were focused and ready to go once this game began. The Swarm was the first team on the board, as Brian Cauthen fired a puck past Gary Condon of Mayhem. Up 1-0 at the half, they jumped on the 2nd half faceoff and scored again as Scott Howe gave the Swarm a 2-0 lead. Mayhem was not about to give up though, as they called timeout with about 3 minutes to go, and formulated their game plan. Gianfranco Ricther took a pass from his goaltender, skated up and fired the puck which found its’ way to the back of the net, cutting the Swarm lead to 2-1. A crazy last 2 minutes included odd man rushes, tons of shots on goal, and loose pucks everywhere. The craziest of moments happened as time was winding down, and David Arnold slapped the puck to the doorstep, where Nathan Galbriath was waiting. He was able to get enough stick on the puck to send it past the goalie with 0.2 seconds remaining in the game to tie it up and send it to overtime. In the extra frame, Brandon Oland took a pass from Richter and made no mistake, as he fired the puck past Cory Tippins to win the game. There may be a few beverages consumed out of that cup tonight.
30 & Over Platinum
The defending 30 & Over champion skhockey.com Monarchs faced Mayhem in the last game of this year’s event. As fate would have it, this game went to overtime, as each team scored once during regulation, mainly thanks to some stellar goaltending by Fil Colace of the Monarchs and Daniel Cordle of Mayhem. Once we got to the extra frame, a laser shot by Sonny Ciocco beat Cordle and gave the Monarchs a second consecutive championship.
30 & Over Gold
The Cooler Selects from Georgia and Buds, Suds and Duds from Ontario had played the night before in a game that the Selects won with some interesting plays that led to goals. The rematch today had a lot more intensity, and a truckload of goals to start things off. The Selects fought back from being down 4-1 just 5 minutes into the game, and ended up tying the game at 4 at the half. Scott Jones of the Canadian team put his team back in the lead just 30 seconds into the 2nd half, and it remained that way for the next 7 minutes. Andrew Sundseth of the Selects tied the game with his hat trick goal with less than 4 minutes to go, and it was a nailbiter finish, as the Selects were buzzing around the net. The game ended up going to overtime, where Jones notched his hat trick just 25 seconds in, winning the game for Buds, Suds and Duds.