New York Recap
by Alex Morrison
Over 90 games took place on Long Island over less than 48 hours, featuring 42 teams playing in 6 age groups for 11 championships! Now that’s a heck of a lot of hockey. Here’s how it played out:
Our 12 & under group featured 6 teams from New York and New Jersey. An interesting fact about this division is that every team scored more than 10 goals over the course of their first 4 games, showing how balanced the competition is out here at this age group. Only one team went undefeated during the initial round, earning a spot in the gold division championship game… South Jersey Beast. Their opponent in the final would be determined using the goals against tiebreaker, as the NY Cyclones lost their last game to Black Ice by a 6-5 score, but only had 9 total goals against vs. the Roadrunners 04 having given up 16 goals over their first 3 games.
This final was fantastic, as both teams put pressure on the opposing goalies early and often. The Cyclones were down by 2 early, but cut the lead in half about 8 minutes into the game. The Beast went back up by 2, and the back and forth scoring continued. During the second half, the Cyclones were dominating puck possession time, and taking a ton of shots, hitting the goalpost at least 3 times. They ended up with a power play late in the game down 5-4, but were unable to sneak a puck past the goalie. Sammy Phillips ended up with a hat trick in the game, and the high scorer award for the division as the team from New Jersey took home the gold.
The silver division final saw the Roadrunners 04, who had lost that tiebreaker with the Cyclones playing against Black Ice, who dominated the younger Roadrunners team, the 05s, earlier in the day. This game was a fun one to watch, as kids of all ages and sizes were on the floor. Some of the best moments were coming when little Gabby from the Roadrunners was making saves, while her dad was fist pumping from the side of the rink. She was the smallest kid on the floor, and was playing huge in net. Some great plays came from the other side as well, as the Marszalek brothers had some beautiful passes and heads up play for Black Ice. In the end, the Roadrunners were able to score 5 2nd half goals en route to a 7-4 victory.
PEE WEE DIVISION
8 teams converged on Bethpage this weekend in the 14 & under division in another very balanced grouping. Every team earned at least a point in the intial round, and just like in Squirt, all 8 scored at least double digits in goals over their first 4 games. There was a bit of controversy in this group, as during the day Saturday, a team obviously tried to position themselves in the silver bracket. This act resulted in upset parents, and most importantly, the kids on the floor being taught the wrong life lesson. The real unfortunate part came when the coach tried to deny that they were guilty of anything. Over the 20+ years I have been doing this, Saturday was the most obvious display of sandbagging I have ever seen. It was very sad for the kids playing on the team. In the end, their opponent in the game recognized what they were doing, and evened things up. Things worked out as they should have, as the team was placed up in the gold division.
The gold final was a shootout, as the 2 teams combined for 12 goals. Miles Harrington scored the first 4 goals for the Tour Roadrunners 03, and of the 9 goals scored in the 2nd half, the younger Roadrunners team had more than their opponent, Black Ice 02, earning Vio’s team a gold medal.
In the silver final, the East Coast Mustangs and Black Ice 03 were the bottom 2 seeds in the division, and each upset their opponents in the semifinal. The Mustangs found themselves in a hole early, as Black Ice scored just a minute into the game, but some good defense shut down the scoring until 4 minutes remaining in the half, when the Mustangs scored to tie it. The 2nd half picked back up a bit, as both teams scored, but the brother tandem of Chris and Dimitri Tzilvelis each scored twice in the half to seal the win for the Mustangs.
We had 8 teams make their way to the rink this weekend in the 16 and under group as well. This might have been the most balanced division of them all, as we had to break a 5 way tie using goals against. Every team won at least one of their first 3 games, and only the Roadrunners 00 made it through that initial round unscathed.
By virtue of that unblemished record, the Roadrunners were the #1 seed in the gold division, and made it to the championship game via a 2-1 nail biter against Black Ice in the semifinal. The other semifinal saw HockeyMutt, a team comprised of 14u Roadrunner players, who beat ISCA Grizzlies in the other semifinal. The final was pretty one sided, as the older kids held the puck for most of the game and scored some pretty goals on the way to a 9-1 win.
The silver final was a good one, as Long Island Storm and Tour Roadrunners 01 met up in might be the game of the tournament. This was an up and down affair, as the teams traded goals. With the game tied 4-4, a collision took place near the Roadrunners net, and the Storm were able to take advantage of it, stuffing home the game winner with just a minute remaining.
6 teams participated in the 18 & under division, and one team in particular rose far above the rest. The Tour Roadrunners, with an all-star Platinum level roster dominated their competition this weekend, winning every game they played in, including the gold final by an 8-0 score. They will be a force to be reckoned with in Mississauga this summer in the Midget Platinum division. Max Halvorsen, Joey Dimartino, Nick DellaMorte, Jordan Mula… it’s an impressive list of players.
The silver division final featured the ISCA Grizzlies taking on the Alkali Pain Train. These 2 teams met just hours before in the last preliminary game of the division, when ISCA handed Pain Train an 8-2 defeat, in a game that Pain Train was winning 2-0. The rematch was similar, as ISCA dominated play, and held Pain Train in check for most of the game. This one wasn’t as close as the score looks, as the Grizzlies took the gold, 5-2.
Our largest division of the weekend had 10 teams competing for 2 titles. Mission Black Ice was here in force, with most of their pro roster playing. They breezed through the preliminary round, winning each of their games by an 8-0 score. The Tour Roadrunners also had quite a few of their pro roster here, and they won all 3 of their games by at least 5 goals. This put the 2 teams on a collision course to meet in the gold final. This turned out to be a great matchup. The Roadrunners surprised quite a few people, jumping out to an early lead, just 20 seconds into the game. 8 minutes went by before Black Ice was able to get on the board with the equalizer, but the Roadrunners once again scored shortly thereafter to regain the lead. A goal with just 13 seconds left in the half left the Roadrunners a bit deflated, as their halftime lead that they anticipated never came to fruition. Black Ice jumped all over the Roadrunners in the 2nd half, scoring 4 times, with 2 of the goals by John Schiavo, getting himself a hat trick in the game, and his team a gold medal.
The silver final saw Team Breakaway matched up against Uprising, a team that was winless in the prelims, but won their playoff and semifinal to get to the game. Uprising used speed and finesse, and a few good bounces their way to stay close to Breakaway, as the game was within a goal. They took a lead early in the 2nd half, and held on to it, adding an empty netter at the end for their 3rd consecutive victory and a gold medal.
30 & OVER DIVISION
4 teams competed this weekend in this division, with the round robin dominated by The People’s Warrior. They also breezed through their semifinal game, and was matched up against All Voltage in the final, a team they beat 9-1 earlier in the tournament. The final was nothing like that round robin game, as All Voltage was skating right with Warrior. The game was close the entire time, tied all the way until just under 4 minutes to go, when People’s Warrior finally broke the tie, and pulled away with one more goal late. This was a fun division overall that was great to watch.
It’s always great to be in New York, and see the quality hockey players that are in this region. We are looking forward to seeing many of these teams at the NARCh East Coast Finals in Mississauga, Ontario this July. The Roadrunners, Black Ice, ISCA Grizzlies, and a few other teams are planning to make the trip this summer. It will be a blast!