It’s about 11pm here at Joe Dumars Fieldhouse and we’ve started the downslope of this tourney, as well as the NARCh Season. This event is always sort of a pinnacle of the regional qualifying season. Not just due to the scope and size of this tourney, but the focus after this shifts to the NARCh FINALS. We still have 5 very important regional qualifiers coming up, but the bulk of them are behind us and the FINALS are in our not-so-distant future.
Today we’ve already crowned champions in the cub, atom, and mite division. There were 3 teams competing in 6 and under cub division and the Detroit Mission Stars came out on top, beating both the Alkali Aresenal and Fieldhouse Future Bordercats. The closest game of the division was between the Stars and Arsenal, which the Stars won 5-2. The Arsenal didn’t have much of a problem with the Bordercats, so they took home 2nd. Hopefully all 3 of these teams will make it up to the NARCh FINALS to compete.
The atom division also consisted of 3 teams from the same 3 programs. We gave these teams a double round robin format and the outcome resulted in some extremely competitive games. The Arsenal and Bordercats tied their first game 6-6. The Bordercats and Stars also tied, as well as the Arsenal and Bordercats! Both the Arsenal and Bordercats defeated the Stars the other game they played against them, so they would meet for the championship.
You can’t get away with wearing number #99 when you’re older, but at a young age it’s still cute. You better be good though. #99 Logan Sigman is a very solid little player. Logan and #40 Lucas Deeb would score two goals each in the final, and Bordercats Goalie Andrew Parmentier played great in net to carry the Bordercats to the title over the Alkali Arsenal by a final of 4-1.
5 teams competed in the 10 and under mite division and I’m still scratching my head a little about how this played out. Let me preface this by saying that I’m constantly reminded with the young teams that at the end of the day they’re still little kids. Whether they ate cotton candy and swam all day can make the difference in how the division plays out.
The Alkali Arsenal steam rolled everyone in the round robin, scoring 29 goals and only allowed 5 goals against in their first 4 games, all big wins. They would match up against the Reebok 02’s for the gold title. Reebok tied the Stars 02’s but defeated both the Bordercats and Arsenal 03’s to grab the 2 seed.
This championship was entertaining to watch. I can’t honestly say I watched the whole game, but I caught many bits and pieces, most of which consisted of the Arsenal applying pressure on Reebok. In many cases they would either miss the net or Reebok Goalie, Evan Webb, would make a big save. I’ve seen games like this before and I had the sense that eventually the pressure would be too much and the talent of the Arsenal would eventually prevail. I was wrong. Evan was strong the entire game and Reebok scored some beautiful goals on their way to this big championship upset. #14 Justin Satawa would end up scoring the game winner in this 3-2 thriller. It was probably a great learning game for both squads. The Arsenal now realize that they can’t just show up and win easily every time, and Reebok knows that they can not only play with great teams but defeat them if they play as solid as they’re capable.
The mite silver championship would also be a barnburner between the Alkali Arsenal 03’s and Detroit Mission Stars 02’s. Remember DMS tied Reebok 02’s in the prelims and they had already defeated the Arsenal 03’s 6-1 in the prelims.
Like mite gold, the underdog on paper would prevail. #51 Griffen Zaske and #61 Ryan Goodfellow had 2 goals each for the Arsenal 03’s, Ryan’s second being an empty-netter, and the Arsenal took home the gold medals in the silver division by a final of 4-2. I noticed the Stars were missing a few players in the championship game, so this may have made a little difference, but the Arsenal played hard and earned the gold medals they were awarded.
In squirts the Reebok 00’s have absolutely dominated so far, scoring 23 goals for and only allowing 2 against to grab the #1 seed. The Bordercats Blue also looked very solid, winning their first 3 games and grabbing the #2 seed. Playoffs are set and it’s a whole new ball game. Lose a game tomorrow and you’re all done.
Peewees are also starting playoffs tomorrow and the NARCh peewee platinum defending champion Rollin Hogs have not even been tested yet, winning 3 games and not allowing a goal. Whoever is in their path tomorrow will have their hands full and it would take a major upset to send them home with anything other than gold medals.
Alkali RPD 96’s grabbed the #1 seed in bantams but the Bordercats are also undefeated. I’m looking forward to watching some competitive bantam playoffs. Midgets and Pro’s are still in the prelims, but those should also be very competitive tomorrow and I would say there are multiple teams that could take those divisions, so it should be fun to watch.
The atmosphere here at the Dumars Restaurant/Bar is quite different than when I first sat down. Originally the place was packed. I’ve had numerous conversations and the Wings got the beat down from the Hawks tonight, so the locals checked out a little earlier than expected. If you’re a Wings fan though you have to be happy with where they’re sitting, they have 2 cracks at landing in the Western Conference Finals.
It’s so funny and interested to visit Dumars. It’s one of my favorite events. I don’t come every year, but have probably been here 6 years spread out within the last 12. It’s honestly like Groundhog Day for roller hockey. Same people, same conversations, same smiles and laughs and overall good times. I may bust a lot of chops when I’m here but I really do appreciate all of the people from this region that have supported NARCh through the years. They’re a big part of NARCh and the sport for that matter.
Today was another great day and I often remind myself how lucky I am to do what I do. I love my job and I hope it shows. Thank you for supporting NARCh.