Over the tournament hump

I checked in with a blog 19 hours ago and now I’ve returned.  79 games have been played since then and many of them fantastic.  Alkali RPD walked away with the Pro Title and the $ over the Breakaway Bullies.  The championship was a little anti-climatic, as Alkali really won all the loose battles, stayed out of the box, and executed on their power play opportunities.   This coming after both semi-finals were settled in overtime, showing just how tight the competition was.

The Bullies are a solid squad and they played great all tourney until they came out a little flat in the finale’.  It happens though, and I’m sure they’ll be in Toronto with something to prove.   Mark Cote has sponsored this team, as he also owns a sports bar in Orange County by the same name, Breakaway Sports Lounge.

 I can’t speak about the pro division without singling out Travis Noe.  He played for Reebok last Winters and they won the title, so this is technically back-to-back wins for him.   Don’t get me wrong, without Travis Alkali would still be very competitive, but he’s the difference maker.  Sorry Trav, by giving you the credit you deserve I probably gained you 3 more slashes next tourney.   What nobody knows is that Travis actually won the  high scorer title a few years ago when he stepped into the division but he got robbed of the title because his jersey numbers didn’t match.   He’s not that guy that worries about the individual accomplishments over the team goal.   This tournament he really stood out and was more dominant that any player I can remember playing in the pro division.  He had a hat trick in the semi-finals and a hat trick in the championship, which is something that I honestly don’t believe has every happened in the history of NARCh Pro.   More importantly he’s humble, extremely grateful, and is exactly the type of role model that this sport needs.  My hat’s off to you Travis, twice today alone.

 In all 10 NARCh Cups were handed out today and you think I would be exhausted.  Don’t get me wrong I’m tired, but this event only happens once a year and it’s honestly hard to leave the rink.   It’s like leaving a party early.

 Speaking of party, I just ordered my first beer of the weekend from High Five, as it’s become a tradition for me after the Pro Championship is complete.  By no means is the event over, but the completion of this game signifies that the tournament is heading that way.    I’m not going to lie, the beer taste great, but the scenery is better.    Although I’m sitting alone and people must be respecting the fact that I’m still working, I’m surrounded by people that absolutely love this sport.  Not only do they love playing on the rink, I also believe they respect and appreciate each other.   Friendships and lives revolve around this sport, and NARCh for that matter, which is pretty cool.

 If you haven’t checked out the videos, please do so.  We put a ton of time and energy into them and it’s something that I’m very proud of.  I love to turn back the clock on the sport and check out things from the past and I really think that in 5-10 years the players that are featured in these videos will absolutely cherish them.

All of my staff here has done a fantastic job so far…….knock on wood :) In my blog this morning I talked about how I had a coach that expected 100% and I really believe I squeeze that out of my staff.  Sometimes I may not do it in the most graceful manner, but at the end of the day everyone is excited to be a part of what makes NARCh run and they’re great at their job and I’m lucky to have them involved.

My trooper of the tournament award has to go to Jami Yoder.   11 Teams are here from the KIHA Program in Hawaii and he’s been on every bench, except when there have been two different teams from the program playing at the same time on different rinks.   Not only that, he’s playing Pro and 35’s too.   He’s an animal!  I guess he looks at it a little like I am right now, it only happens a few times a year and he can catch up on his sleep on a hammock on a beach in Hawaii when this is over.   I guess that’s where the sympathy stops.  LOL.

For those parents that might be critical to certain aspects of this tournament, trust me, I can usually relate.  I have an 8 and 10 yr old playing in the tournament.  They’ve been stationed at the merchandise booth playing Mine Craft most of the event.  I don’t get that game.  Anyway, my 8u son has a game at 6am, which is 6 hours from now.  His team honestly has a very slim chance of winning that game, although he would never hear that from my lips.  Hopefully they will still advance into the silver playoffs and he will leave the event with a positive feeling.  Nobody likes to get crushed, and putting on my parenting hat I’m not excluded.   Sometimes you have to take your lumps and when the tide finally turns it will make the victories all that much sweeter.

OK, novel over and time to finish off this last half glass and get a partial night sleep.   I’m guessing my son that I get to share the bed with tonight will be sleeping sideways when I walk in, which will make a good 5 hour sleep that much more challenging.   See many of you again tomorrow!