More Championship Recaps
Day 5 and 6 Championship Recaps at the 2019 West Coast NARCh Finals
By: Raine Hernandez
With the 16u and 12u divisions wrapped up, the fifth and sixth day of the 2019 West Coast NARCh Finals were filled with a long list of entertaining championship matchups, and here’s who found themselves competing for a NARCh Cup:
Junior Platinum – Tour Road Runners vs. Konixx Velocity (235)
It was a rivalry in the making at Irvine, as the Tour Road Runners once again squared off against the Konixx Velocity. In their previous two matchups, Konixx was able to rally and earn a tie against the Road Runners in their round robin in Juniors, while the day before, the Road Runners routed Konixx 6-0 to put themselves in the Pro Championship game.
The first period had little offensive production, as Charlie Robinson and Rob Kowalczyk were in top form and stopped faced their way, meaning that it was only a matter of time until someone would step up and break the 0-0 tie.
Enter Max Halvorsen and Nick Dellamorte.
Early into the second period, Halvorsen and Dellamorte buried two straight goals to give the Road Runners the 2-0 lead. Shortly after, Halvorsen scored his second of the game adding to their lead, creating breathing space for Head Coach Anthony Viollante.
Kowalczyk remained perfect while the Road Runners would add three more goals as they would clinch the Junior Platinum title, adding yet another trophy to their collection. However, they would have very little time to celebrate, as they would get ready to compete for another title, Division 1.
Junior Gold – Velocity Anarchy vs. Lukas Uhler’s Vanquish (243)
In the Junior Gold final, it would be a matchup between the Velocity Anarchy and Lukas Uhler’s Vanquish (formerly known as the Revision Vanquish).
Right from the get-go, it would be the Vanquish that would be controlling the pace of the game. Vanquish forward Andrew DeCarlo was dominant in the championship game, scoring 4 goals en-route to the 7-1 victory and the Junior Gold championship.
Division 1 – Tour Road Runners vs. Konixx Pure (280)
In 2 out of the 3 divisions, the Tour Road Runners had Konixx’s number, beating them in both the Pro semi-finals and the Junior Platinum championship. However, it seemed like Division 1 could be a different story.
For Division 1, Konixx had the luxury of adding Jon Waring and Kyle Aldrich (two players on their Pro team) as reinforcements for their quest to win a NARCh Cup. When the two teams clashed against one another in round robin, it would be Konixx who would pull away with the 4-1 victory, setting up what would be an exhilarating championship game, if they were to play again.
This time around, Konixx would be without Aldrich, who was out due to injury from earlier in the tournament.
With both teams winning in their respective semi-final games, Konixx and the Road Runners would find themselves in a trilogy matchup, with Konixx looking to take care of business and end off their week with a tournament win.
Once again, it would be the Max Halvorsen show, this time alongside Joey DiMartino and Jaden Guzman. Halvorsen quickly got on the board early into the first period, but their lead would diminish quickly after Brandon Glover scored on the power-play to even the score up at 1.
Halvorsen would answer right back with another goal for himself, converting on a back-door pass from DiMartino, starting a run of pile of goals from the Road Runners. Guzman would score to make it 3-1, followed by DiMartino, and then Guzman once again, thus completing the trifecta, and winning the Division 1 title.
10u Platinum – San Diego Rockets vs. Pama Cyclones 08 (238)
There was clearly not a shortage of goals in the 10u Platinum division championship game, when the San Diego Rockets squared off against the Pama Cyclones 08’s. In Round Robin play, the Cyclones had 29 goals, while the Rockets had a whopping 37 goals, all while finishing with
A total of 16 goals were scored in the finals, highlighted by Pama’s Sam Ochoa and Rockets forward and Frenchmen Glenn Venin. However, it would be Ochoa who would steal the show, scoring an incredible 5 goals in the championship game, leading the Cyclones to the 10u Platinum title.
With both of these teams hailing from California, it looks as if it’s going to be a rivalry for years to come as they all grow up.
10u Gold – Konixx Outcasts vs. Mission Renegades AA (265)
In the 10u Gold Division, the Konixx Outcasts had themselves a matchup with the Mission Renegades as the 2 teams battled it out for the title. Both teams had rather rough round robins, as both teams combined for 1 win and 3 ties.
Fortunately, both teams were able to bounce back with big wins. The Renegades defeated Bulldogs Blue in their semis, while the Outcasts beat the Labeda Jets by a score of 5-3 after tying them in round robin.
With that being said, both teams were hoping to add-on to their momentum and come away with a championship to bring back home.
It would be the Renegades who would be the stronger team that day, after a dominant first period which featured back-to-back goals from Hudson Brown, giving the Renegades a 2-0 lead after 12 minutes of play.
The Renegades would continue the add onto the pressure, as into the second period, Mateo Zoretic would wire one past goaltender Maddox Marshall to push the lead to 3-0. The Outcasts still had life with 2 minutes remaining, Jayden Perea tallied one to cut the lead to 2.
Strong goaltending from Connor Ellis stopped any Outcasts comeback and the Renegades would later be crowned 10u Gold Champions.
10u Silver – OC Marvel vs. HB Militia White (268)
The 10u Silver game was a battle between OC Marvel and HB Militia White.
OC Marvel stunned a lot of people after their win against Pure Maple in the semis, due to the reason that Pure Maple was undefeated, and were the number one seed. Not to mention that Pure Maple actually defeated OC Marvel earlier in the tournament.
Since that was the case, Marvel were the ones who were more confident than ever, trying to complete the Cinderella story and defeat the Militia in the final.
Easier said than done.
It would be the Militia who would find themselves on the board after two quick goals from Kaleb Sanders and Andrew Ernster to give themselves a cushion with the 2-0 lead.
There’s always a saying in hockey, “Having a 2-goal lead is the worst in hockey,”, which is something that Marvel proved early into the second period when Elijah Bacon got his shot past Adison Waddington to cut the lead in half.
Just seconds later, Sanders would come to the rescue and shut down any comeback by scoring his second of the game to restore HB’s 2-goal lead.
Ultimately, the Militia were too strong, and they would become the 10u Silver champions.
10u Club – Titans Reign vs. Labeda Jets (271)
Easily one of the most entertaining championship games of the tournament came from the 10u Club division as the Labeda Jets hosted the Titans Reign from Oregon.
In the first period, the Titans came out of the gates strong, as they would score 3 goals within a span of 2 minutes to go up 3-0 in the first period. The Jets would later storm back with 2 goals of their own with Belle Phung scoring both to cut the lead to 1.
Connor Heim started the goal-scoring in the second period, pushing their lead to back to 2, but not until Braylon Morrison scored to put the score at 4-3. Then, with 6 minutes left in the hockey game, Lucas Abarquez finally got the equalizer for the Jets, placing the game back to square one with 4 minutes left in regulation.
When it looked as if this game is heading to overtime, Nate McGillis scored to put the Reign ahead with just 1:23 left into the game. It would prove to be the difference maker, as McGillis would score again with 23 seconds left to clinch the Club title.