Quick Sunday Morning update from Skate Safe
By Daryn Goodwin
As I sit here and start to type my computer my clock says 4am. I don’t even both changing it on these trips, as we’re coast bouncing all month. We’ll be back in San Diego tomorrow afternoon, then back on a flight Thursday Morning to Chicago. The process is then repeated the following week to Atlanta, and then Detroit. It’s a grueling travel month, but definitely tournaments we’re excited about.
The action on the rink yesterday was great! There’s so many talented hockey players from this area. Some really good saves by goalies throughout the ages as well. I went to bed last night feeling a little let down on one front. One of the many things that sets NARCh apart from other tournaments and even other youth sports is the pride we take and the effort we put into capturing moments from the tournament and sharing them with the players and parents, primarily through social media. Unfortunately, when I look out on the rink and jerseys don’t match to the point that it looks like a pick-up game, I have zero motivation to try to capture pictures or moments. What’s the point? It just makes NARCh look unprofessional and unorganized because the teams look unprofessional and unorganized. We have to pick our battles. We only come to this market for a regional once a year, which is not often enough to change a culture.
One of the highlights of my day yesterday was the 6u division. Just like last weekend in Irvine, it provides the games with the most smiles. Credit to Adam Lowenfeld the general manager here at Skate Safe for putting in the extra effort to make this division happen and the young coaches that helped out on the benches. I could tell Adam really enjoyed watching his efforts play out on the rink and did a great job building excitement calling out the kids names to receive their medals. To put into perspective, a few kids were planning on missing their 2nd game due to other sport commitments made prior. After their first game, they blew off those commitments and played the second game because they were having so much fun.
Alex will write more of a recap later, assuming things don’t get too crazy today. I’m sure he’ll go into greater detail on the players that are here and how everything shakes out today with our playoffs and championships. To just scratch the surface, the teams that look like the teams to beat going into today include Tour Roadrunners in 18s and men’s, Black Ice in 10s and 16s, Bay Crane Cyclones in 12s, Montreal Ducks in 30s, and 14’s seem wide open. That’s only based on what I saw yesterday and I’m looking forward to watching it all play out today and wouldn’t at all be surprised to see a team or two not mentioned win a championship. It’s always worth noting the 8u 495er team playing up in 10u. They’re a good 8u team and it’s truly unfortunate there’s not more 8u teams in this region. I’d love to see them in Alpharetta, where they’d play other 8u teams from other markets that they’ve never competed against.
We’ve got a new tournament director in training here that most only know by his play on the rink. John Siemer is one of the most talented players in the sport and he’s played NARCh since he was tiny. He just finished playing Semi Pro Ice for the Macon Mayhem in the SPHL and he’s spending the summer in GA, which makes the East Coast Tourneys convenient for him. There’s a lot of multi-tasking behind the scenes to make NARCh run smooth. John has proven to be a quick learner, so it’s a solid pickup for a squad.
We had a piece of glass break behind the net last night which seems to happen to us about once every 2 years with the amount of hours we spend at rinks. It was about a 30-45 minute turnaround and a lot of people chipped in to help, otherwise it would have been even longer. Brian Sharkey was actually reffing on the other rink when it happened and luckily took the lead since he has the most experience here. Sharkey knew exactly where the replacement glass was. The new glass is thicker than the original glass, so the challenge was getting the new heavier, thicker glass in the ridge of the boards. A lot of WD40 helped make it work.
Looking forward to a great day of playoffs and championships here at Skate Safe!