NARCh Pro Update after 2 games.
Winternationals Pro Update,
With 7 teams competing in NARCh Pro at Winternationals, we felt going into the event that it was going to be a very competitive field. We were not wrong. What many predicted is that we would end up with a rematch championship game from the NARCh FINALS between the Pama Labeda Golden Kinghts and Black Ice. This is certainly still very possible, but Pama is currently 1-1 and Black Ice is 0-0-2. 4 of the 7 teams are tied with 2 points.
The division kicked off with a rare 0-0 tie between the Pama Labeda Silver Knights and Unify Black Ice. Black Ice launched a relentless assault the last 5 minutes of this game, but Nevin Iwatsuru made some huge saves and got some timely blocked shots from sprawling defensemen. This game would set the tone for the rest of what we witnessed last night, highlighted by physical play and great goaltending.
Konixx is the only with two wins, defeating the Cows 8-5, and Pama Labeda Golden Knights 4-3. They would not currently be at the top of the leaderboard without some timely, huge saves by Kevin Dwyer. Some well-rounded team scoring doesn’t hurt either, as they’ve doubled the offensive output of any other team with 12 goals.
Troy Redman is in net for Black Ice and looks as solid as ever, so far facing 31 shots and turning away all but 2. He’s such a positionally sound goalie often making it look easy because he’s rarely off angle. Their snipers won’t have jet lag today, so I look for more offense out of them.
Like Black Ice and Silver Knights, Skittles is another team with 2 ties in 2 games. Charlie Robinson made numerous saves to preserve the 2-2 tie with Black Ice. Full disclosure, I didn’t see them, but when I hear 3 sets of crowd cheers 10 seconds apart and I know the puck is in Skittles defensive zone, I know Charlie well enough to know exactly what happened.
The Skittles other tie was against Rink Rat, 3-3. Rink Rat also lost to the Golden Knights 3-2, but Lane Hartwell stood on his head that game and made an unreal sliding blocker save that I’m sure will make the highlights at some point.
Any team can still win this tournament, but for now the focus is on making the semi-final. With 4 teams log jammed with 2 points, and the Alkali Cows and Rink Rat still in the mix with 1 point, it’s going to be a great day for NARCh Pro Hockey.
Side Note – Travis Noe and Junior Cadiz must be living together in a tiny condo on the beach they know exactly where each other are at all times. The chemistry is amazing and between them they’ve scored 4 of the 6 goals for the Golden Knights while leaving some defensive heads spinning. If they keep it up and the other lines pick it up, they’re going to be VERY tough to beat.
Lionel and I are both up at 5am working, so also keep an eye out for some highlight videos from action on Friday.