We’re right around 80 games in already and the hockey has matched the atmosphere here in Irvine, both have been fantastic. It was also perfect California weather today, not too hot and the sun was out and it’s cooled down now that the sun has dropped.
Most of the action so far has been in the squirt and peewee division, with both already done with the prelims and their playoffs and championships will wrap up tomorrow. Midgets have also played 2 games, but most other divisions are only a game in or start this evening.
In squirt the Mission Bauer Raiders Red grabbed the #1 seed by winning their 3 games and only allowing two goals against. Their closest game was against a talented San Jose Tsunami squad, which they won 4-1. The #2 seed went to Larger Than Life who also went 3-0, and they had a nail-biter against the Revision Puck Hogs 99’s, but pulled it out 4-3. Those were the only two teams to go undefeated in this 18-team division, which is a testament to the balance here. The large divisions here have been tiered into 3 levels for playoffs, platinum, gold, and silver, so we’re going to see some very balanced playoff action tomorrow.
Peewee was also an 18-team division but we had 6 teams go undefeated. AZ Outcasts grabbed the #1 seed, Revision Vanquish 99 #2, WC Warriors #3, Anarchy Gold #4, Anarchy Silver #5, and NCR Elite #6. The top 4 will battle for the platinum title but Anarchy Silver and NCR Elite will have to wait for the gold playoffs to play out before they know who they’ll face.
The 12-team midget division looks to be super tight and is one of my favorites to watch. Tons of speed! Bender Blades got past Mission/Bauer Raiders Gold in a tight one last night 5-4, then scored with a pulled goalie and just a few seconds left in the game to tie the West Covina High Rollers. The High Rollers had a chance to put the game away with an empty netter before that but hit the side of the goal! Out of the 12 teams only 2 are 2-0, Revision Vanquish and NCR Elite. I really wish Elite were able to come down with their full squad, as I’d be curious to see the results from this event with them firing on all cylinders. They pretty much coasted through the midget division in the San Jose Qualifier a few weeks ago and in this one it’s mostly their bantams playing up.
Pro’s just started and Axiom and Labeda tied 2-2. Labeda is basically the Pama Cyclones, just a little leaner than their regular squad. The Las Vegas Tour Rebels defeated Larceny 3-1, so it’s going to be a great division!
Hopefully we’ll have a video up tomorrow with some of the action from yesterday and today. I’m going to try to get out a here at a descent hour tonight since I have to be back at 6am. This event is more of a marathon than a sprint!