We are in the middle of a very busy weekend with 3 tournaments taking place simultaneously. I’m here in BC with Lonny Lovins as my sidekick while Mike Vickerman and Jeremy Ellis are in Long Island, and Casey Wedge and Itan Chavira are in Buffalo. From the updates I’ve glanced at online it looks like the other two tournaments are going very well.
This is my first time visiting Vancouver Island. I’ve heard it’s beautiful and Gerry St Cyr has been telling me for years that I need to get up here. Even with high expectations from everything I’ve heard this place is truly special. Gerry is like the mayor around here, which doesn’t hurt either.
This tournament is not large by NARCh Standards, but we’re still putting in a 15-hour day today. Some teams in the province chose to skip this tourney, which is honestly their loss. Funny how some complain that coming to the Island is a hassle and expensive yet they expect the Eagle Ridge Teams to travel their way. Scott Hill is greatly missed in the sport up here. For years he was a driving force and a great ambassador, but he’s now moved on unfortunately.
We didn’t have enough teams for a squirt division but Eagle Ridge and the Zulu did field squirt teams and faced off a couple of times today. These two teams were about as evenly matched as you could get. The first game would end in a thrilling back and forth 4-4 tie, so we expected the championship to be equally entertaining. In the finale’ Eagle Ridge would get on the board first with a goal from #16 Grady Nursey. #7 of the Zulu, Jack McIntosh would answer with a goal of his own, and we would head into have tied at 1-1.
The second half was similar, as each team scored a goal and we would be tied 2-2 heading deep into game. With just over 3 minutes remaining #21 for Eagle Ridge, Conner Lund, would put his team back ahead after bouncing on a loose puck and making a nice move in the slot, followed by a quick release that found the back of the net. The Zulu applied a lot of pressure at the end with a pulled goalie and extra attacker. However they ended up falling short and Conner added an empty netter to seal the deal for Eagle Ridge by a final of 4-2.
In the 4-team peewee division Eagle Ridge ended the day winning both of their games, while the Zulu B and Prince George Reapers went 1-1, and the young Zulu Team went 0-2.
In bantam the Zulu A Squad is looking like the team to beat, winning their first two as well. It’s a tight division though, as the Delta Revolution tied both of their first two games, one to the Norther Nights 3-3 and Zulu B by the rare final score of 0-0.
Mens is also a very competitive with a few ties and great finishes. The Muffin Tops are the only team to win their first two games. It will be interesting to see how it shakes out the next few hours as teams take the rink for their 3rd game. It’s been a very entertaining division to watch, although it’s a little chippy. It’s funny listening to guys chirp, throwing around their ice resume’ while trying to one up whoever they’re in the confrontation with. It’s a little annoying actually. Sort of like fighting, if you have to talk about how tough you are you usually aren’t tough.
Even though keeping everything organized with the business is kind of nuts right now with so much going on and the FINALS quickly approaching, I’m happy with my decision to come up here. Looking forward to some solid late night hockey as we wrap things up this evening. I’m sure the best is yet to come, as we head into playoffs and championships tomorrow.