49 teams are here at Dreamsports and many already have a game in the books here this morning. It just started snowing, so hopefully all of the teams are in town and ready to call Dreamsports Center their home for the next 48 hours or so.
22 of the 49 are from North Carolina, so the other 27 traveled in from places like New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and even Texas. There are also many loose players that found teams from other states, like Florida and Virginia. Their full teams couldn’t attend but they weren’t going to miss out.
We started the 6u cub division here last year and it’s really taken off. With the help and cooperation from Steve Werner, the owner here at Dreamsports, we fielded two home teams last year and two home teams this year, with some of the kids from last year aging up into the atoms. Steve loves this division and also understands that it’s a huge step towards carrying the sport forward in years to come by starting these players so early. Jamie DiDominico from Marple Sports Arena in PA brought his 6u team down to round out the division. They pulled out their first game by a goal, so the games seem to be very competitive for the little guys and girls, which is a bonus.
A lot of teams here are talking about making the trip up to the NARCh FINALS in Toronto. Some of them are very good and will fair well in platinum and gold. What’s unfortunate is that other teams from this market don’t understand how NARCh works. They think if they can’t beat the local teams here then they would get crushed at the NARCh FINALS. NOT TRUE! We’ve got a few months to try to educate people that there’s also a silver and club division, so there’s truly a place for almost everyone that wants the NARCh FINALS Experience.
Chad Spezia just rolled in from Detroit. Sounds like they drove through the night. Chad worked this event last year as a tournament director, but this year he’s coaching and playing. Like a lot of people in this sport, he wears a lot of different hats, depending on the particular tournament.
Chad Seibel from Tour Hockey is the lone sponsor here, so he’s got the place to himself to promote his brand. The Tour Roadrunners have 9 teams in the tournament, so he’s got presence on and off the rink.
Lonny Lovins, not to be confused with Lyle Lovett, is our newest TD on staff. He’s checking teams in and promises a blog later today. He’s also refereeing some games, so he’s seeing this event from all aspects. Itan is running around with the camera and Nick Lutu is on the boards and stats, so this allows me roam around with a camera and watch the action. Make sure to check out all of the pictures I post on Facebook under NARCh Players.