By Jeremy Ellis
Saturday is in the books and I am finally able to catch my breath after the first wave of championship games today. All together we have 8 final games taking place this Sunday. Hope you like the picture attached to this blog. Longtime Black Ice Coach Aaron Weiss just had a new baby boy, Brody. Look out for him to be earning medals sometime in the near future!
Since Casey touched a bit on the Hawks – Kings game from last night in his Buffalo blog, I will add on just a bit. I had a definite yearning to be home in Chicago last night to enjoy the moment of P Kanes game winner. Thinking back to 2010 when the Blackhawks hoisted the cup last , the feeling around the city was unreal. Chicago really is a great hockey town and I encourage everyone to try and get to a game in the ‘Madhouse on Madison” if they get a chance. The atmosphere for the National Anthem alone is worth the price of admission.
On to the game action. On Saturday the weather turned and the sun finally broke free through the clouds. We had all the makings of a good old New York roller hockey event with the numerous tailgates in the parking lot and all the little guys trying to sneak on the rink to shoot pucks between games. Youth divisions here are still strong and it is evident with all of the ‘rink rats’ rolling around throughout the facility. Kudos to the parents who grilled up some fresh caught scallops and shared them with us! Unlike the Buffalo regional, scoring is the name of the game here, with some of the top up and coming talent in the game calling this area home. There was more than one instance of a team scoring in the double digits.
Game of the day honors on Saturday had two contenders. In Squirts, Mission Black Ice 02 and Tour Roadrunners 00 battled hard throughout with the Roadrunners erasing a 3 goal deficit with 2 of those goals coming in the last 3 and a half minutes of regulation. The other was also in Squirts between Mission Black 00 and Black Ice 02. A late goal put the 02′s up by one, but the game was only preserved with an amazing save by the goaltender Kevin Lanning. Lanning was huge all weekend. When the stats were tallied for the round robin, Lanning would be recognized as top goaltender with a .944% save percentage.
As I mentioned previously, 4 championship games have taken place at this point. The first was the Midget Gold Final between Tour Roadrunners Green and Roadrunners White. Another high scoring affair, White neeted 4 goals in each half en route to an 8-4 victory. Leading the way was Trevor Shea, with 3 goals and 1 assist. Platinum was on tap next and it was the Mission Black Ice show from the start. Black Ice’s John Schiavo took home the top scorer honors for the division, but in the final it was the Tyler Kraft show. Kraft had 5 goals to go along with one assist to lead the charge.
Both the Pee Wee and Mite Division had 3 teams so one in each had a quick run to the finals. In Pee Wee that team was the Tour Roadrunners 99. With wins over both teams in round robin, they waited for a play in winner who ended up being the Roadrunners Green after they took down Black Ice. The Roadrunners 99s are one of the top teams nationally in this age group and they showed it with a dominant 11-3 triumph. Both the division’s top Goalie, Matt Attardi and top Scorer, Joey DiMartino lace up for the Roadrunners 99. It was a mini-victory for the Green as they put more goals up then were allowed in the previous 2 games combined against the 99s. For the Mite Division, the Mission Black Ice 02 team was in a league of its own. Black Ice juggernauted to the finals while allowing only one goal. The Roadrunners 02 were their final opponent and Black Ices continued strong play led to an 8-0 victory. Goaltender Kevin Lanning was nearly flawless as he only allowed 1 goal in 3 games. In a tight race for top scorer, Emily Mehnert edged the competition with 8 points to garner the top scorer title. Keep an eye out for these teams in Finals later this year.
As we wind down the weekend, the Junior / Mens division are wrapping up the round robin games as teams await seeding results. The Black Ice Men are off to a great start and are looking like the top seed at this point. With the size of the division, we are able to have a Platinum and Gold championship. Also on tap is the Squirt Gold and Platinum final. Signing off for now from Moriches, we will be in touch later. Happy Sunday!!