The Biggest Regional Has Started!
by Alex Morrison
Our 4 day, 251 game extravaganza that we call the Irvine Regional Qualifier at The Rinks - Irvine Inline is about 4 hours old, and is already quite lively. Tonight, the local teams have the chance to play their games against one another, while tomorrow morning, the out of towners come in and will face off, before the 2 groups of teams collide tomorrow afternoon and Saturday, leading to what is sure to be an incredible Sunday of playoff hockey. All over the 3 rinks tonight, we have seen Bulldogs and Cyclones teams both on the winning and losing end of games, while the Militia and High Rollers programs look to get their first wins.
While a lot of the local teams playing tonight won't have to miss a day of school tomorrow, the teams coming in from out of town have made the commitment to be here, even during the day on Friday. No team or program has made as much of a commitment to be here however as one... the group from the Cayman Islands. They have experienced NARCh in more places than just about any group, having played not only at the Finals the past few years, but the regional experience too, having traveled to North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, and now California. We hope that they enjoy their time here, and that the teams that play them enjoy the experience of playing an international opponent. They are a group not to be underestimated, as they have a history of success at NARCh!
This is an interesting weekend, as we are at the only regional this year that will use a second 3 rink facility, The Rinks - Huntington Beach, a bit more than 10 miles down the road, meaning that on Saturday we will have hockey taking place on 6 different rinks at the same time! For those of you participating in the event this weekend, make sure that your team manager gets the check in done right away, and that everyone gets rostered and qualified for the NARCh Finals. Holding down the fort at the check in area this weekend is none other than Emily Doran. She has been a roller hockey fixture for some time now, and always seems to be in the greatest of moods, even during the marathon days that we put in here. She is a NARCh veteran: She has played, coached, managed teams, is a scorekeeper, and is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet. We are lucky to have her on staff this weekend!
We have about 2 hours left tonight, then get back at it bright and early, when Northern California, San Diego, Arizona, Oregon, Colorado, and Cayman Islands enjoy the beautiful Southern California weather here in the great outdoors in Irvine. TTFN