New York Recap
by Alex Morrison
The weekend at Skate Safe in Bethpage, NY was filled with amazing hockey, with 91 games played in less than 48 hours. Some of the best roller hockey players in North America made their way to the rink, as many NARCh Finals Platinum gold medalists took to the floor to qualify their teams for this summer’s Final events at Irvine, CA in June and Alpharetta, GA in July.
If you haven’t already, make sure you follow narchplayers on Instagram and Facebook, as I don’t know anyone in the sport that does a better job than Daryn does with capturing some of the incredible moments that happen during these events.
Now it’s time to recap our divisions!
6u (Cub) - Over a dozen little ones took to the floor to play in 2 exhibition games on Saturday. These games are always some of the most fun to watch, as the little ones are so very excited to be out on the floor. Each team won one game, and the kids were very excited to get medals after their day.
10u (Mite) - Black Ice looked like the team to beat after day 1, and went into day 2 with the Championship game on the horizon, and confidence peaking. Empire looked strong in their morning game, and earned the right for a rematch with Black Ice, having dropped the first game against them by a 10-4 count. Sunday’s final was a much different game for Empire. They were in a back and forth affair with Black Ice, and were leading at the half. But Black Ice turned it on in the 2nd half, as Dylan Marszalek scored a natural hat trick in the half, and helped coach Jason Muro’s youngest team along to a 9-6 win and the gold medal.
12u (Squirt) - The Bay Crane Cyclones were the class of this division, with the Marszalek brothers, Dylan and Brady leading the way on this very well rounded team. They faced the Tour Roadrunners in the final, and had 6 different goal scorers in their victory.
14u (Pee Wee) - This was the largest division of the weekend, with 9 teams playing in 4 prelim games before being split into gold and silver. Rink Rat 03 was a team comprised of kids that were no strangers to the NARCh Finals in the Platinum Division. They played through the weekend looking like the team to beat. However, in the championship game against the East Coast Mustangs, a scoring battle ensued. The Mustangs were staying with Rink Rat stride for stride, answering back every time they would score, but a couple late goals helped Rink Rat pull away and win the gold medal by a 9-5 tally. The silver final saw the Backwards Benders taking Black Ice to task, winning 4-0.
16u (Bantam) - There were a number of teams in this 8 team division that played solid hockey over the course of the weekend. Mission Black Ice, the Tour Roadrunners, Rink Rat 01, Tour Roadrunners 02, ISCA Grizzlies… all 5 of these teams looked like they had a chance to win the division. When the dust settled at the end of the preliminary round, Black Ice had the top seed, with the Roadrunners and Grizzlies getting 2 and 3 respectively. The Roadrunners won their playoff game, and took the momentum into their game against Black Ice, winning 5-2. The lower group saw the Roadrunners 02 squeak by Rink Rat 01 by a 4-3 margin.
18u (Midget) - The same Tour Roadrunners 02 team that didn’t qualify for the upper bracket in their own age group played up an age division and overachieved. They won 2 of their games by mercy rule, and tied their 3rd, earning them the #2 seed. The only team with a perfect 3-0 record after the prelims, who had an easy time in their initial round, winning all of their games by at least 5 goals. This Platinum level team looked like they were the easy lock to win the gold… but the 02 team made it tough for them in the final, battling back and forth in a see saw affair. When the final buzzer sounded, the older Roadrunners squeaked by with a 4-3 win. In the lower group, ISCA looked like the team to beat, as they were right in line with that Roadrunners 02 team, tying them in the preliminary round. They made it to the final, as they beat the Havoc by a goal, and Rink Rat 01 by 2 goals in the final.
Men’s - One team here stood out from all the rest. Much like last week in Irvine, when Dan Maxwell compiled a team of NARCh Pro veterans, Vio added one heck of a component to his Tour Roadrunners team by inviting John Schiavo to play with Joey DiMartino, Max Halvorsen, Keith Johnson… yeah, a team that looked just as good, if not better than the team out west last week. These guys did not disappoint, as there was highlight reel goal after goal. Kids that had the opportunity to watch them play got to see some of the best examples of skill in the sport. The ISCA Grizzlies and Rink Rat Impact fought it out in the playoff game earlier in the day on Sunday. That was a fun one to watch. In the lower bracket, Uprising ended up beating the Montreal Ducks in an overtime thriller. I can’t get through this paragraph though without bringing up District 5, and their luck, or lack of it this weekend. They played some great hockey games that just didn’t work out in their favor. On Saturday night, they had the chance to go straight to the championship game with a win or a tie. They were up 2 goals late in the game, but allowed Uprising to tie it late. With less than a second left on the clock (0.2 seconds left), they gave up another goal to drop them to the 5 seed. Then, in the playoff game against the Ducks, they were tied late, and about to go to overtime. Montreal ended up getting the puck, beating a man, and sending a puck past the District 5 goalie with 0.1 seconds left. Daryn got a great clip of that goal, and the celebration that ensued for Montreal.I don’t think I have ever seen a team lose two consecutive games on goals with 0.2 seconds left or less… holy cow.
30 & Over - 4 teams played in this division that was a fun one to watch, as the games were competitive, intense, and entertaining. The Montreal Ducks, All Voltage, Empire and Revision NDF played in a round robin before being seeded into semifinal games. The Ducks looked like the team to beat, going 3-0 after their pool play, and winning their semifinal. All Voltage went 1-2 in the initial round, but upset Empire in their semifinal rematch, and took that momentum into Sunday’s final, getting out to an early 4-0 lead on the tired Ducks, who had played in 5 games the day before, combining men’s and 30’s. A very happy All Voltage team took home the gold with a 6-2 victory. On the way off the rink, kids for the next game gave the players a nice salute.
That’s a wrap from Long Island. Daryn will be out in Chicagoland next week, Atlanta the week after, then I will rejoin him in Detroit on Memorial Day weekend. Hope you can make it out to one of the events. Thanks for following NARCh!