We had three regional qualifying tournaments this weekend in San Jose, Raleigh, and Colorado Springs. Mike Vickerman is from Colorado, so it made the most sense to let him stay in his home state and work that event. Unfortunately he came down the flu, but still battled through it and represented NARCh at SIHA.
Alex and Itan traveled across the country to North Carolina. From the looks of it online they had a lot of fun and ran a great tournament.
I was fortunate enough to catch what was supposed to be a quick flight up to San Jose. I think it’s become pretty obvious that I really enjoy running events at Silver Creek Sportsplex. The facility sets this place apart from the rest, but it’s the people that always make visiting San Jose a favorite of mine. Through NARCh FINALS, Winternationals, and Nor Cal Cup, I’ve gotten to know so many cool hockey families that it’s like I’m going to hang out with friends rather than go to work.
The NCR Tour Elite deserve an extra shout-out. They’re huge NARCh supporters and are the only organization that I’m aware of from Nor Cal that will be traveling to Toronto for the NARCh FINALS. Travis, Trevor, and Dave do a wonderful job coaching and the parents and players are lucky to have them. They develop players and the result of that are some great, competitive teams. This weekend their peewees played up in bantams and bantams played up in midgets. They knew they probably wouldn’t win the divisions, but it’s big picture with them. It’s about challenging the kids to become the best they can be. Thanks again for playing guys and we’ll see you in Irvine, Escondido, and of course Toronto!
The Silver Creek Staff was what they always are, friendly and great to work with.
Here’s how each division played out this weekend at Silver Creek:
Cub Division – 3 teams competed in our 6u cub division, San Jose Inline Sharks, Silver Creek Spiders, and the Thunder Rats. The Thunder Rats had no problem defeated both the Sharks and the Spiders in the round robin. The Sharks defeated the Spiders setting up a rematch for the cub championship. Alec Boucher had two goals for the Thunder Rats in the final and they would go on to win by a final score of 4-2 over the Sharks. Even though we have cubs every tournament here, it never gets old watching the little boys and girls play and develop.
Atom Division– 5 teams competed in our 8u division. As is often the case with the younger guys, we saw a few great games and some blowouts. The San Jose Inline Sharks are in a league of their own, but the other four teams had some competitive games. The Silicon Valley Quakes won all of their games except for the Sharks, so they would have to face them once again for the gold title. Typically at this age a team will have one kid that carries the load. This isn’t really the case with the Sharks. In the championship they defeated the Quakes 9-1 with 6 different goal scorers contributing. Hopefully we’ll see them down at Irvine and Escondido where they will be challenged and see some great competition.
The Redding Roadrunners deserve a little praise for playing in their first NARCh Event in quite a while. A core of them played as cubs two years ago and have now resurfaced. They played some competitive games but did fall a little short of winning any of them. Hopefully they’ll be motivated to work hard and come back next time and win a few.
The Ripon Ravens and Delta River Rats would face off for the atom silver title. Their first game was a great one, with the River Rats pulling it out 4-2. This time it would be the Ripon Ravens coming out on top to win the gold medals by a final of 6-4. #6 Luis Gutierrez Jr and #100 Cristian Johnson both had 2 goals and an assist in the championship for the Ravens. These two teams are very evenly matched and I’m looking forward to watching many games between them in the future.
Mite Division – The Delta River Rats are the team to beat in Nor Cal at this age. They did get challenged in their first game of the tournament and tied the San Jose Inline Sharks 3-3. The Rats would go on to win their next two games and grab the #1 seed and face the Revision Mustangs for the gold title. In the championship it was all River Rats. Jack Wedoski led the charge with 3 goals and 3 assists, as they defeated the Revision Mustangs 9-3.
The San Jose Inline Sharks and Silicon Valley Quakes would face off in the mite silver championship. The Quakes had a little bit of a rough go this event. They’re a great organization with top-notch coaches, so I’m sure they will use this as a learning experience and only get better from it. The Quakes would fall to the San Jose Inline Sharks 7-0 in the silver final. #17 Aidan Jones and #5 Aiyhden Martinez both had 3 points in the championship for the Sharks and Derek Bautch turned away all 9 shots he faces for the shutout.
Squirt Division – 6 teams competed in 12u. After the prelims the top two would face off for gold, while the remaining 4 would battle for silver. After the prelims two teams would have perfect records, the Revision Mustangs 00 and Silicon Valley Quakes 01. The matchup that I always enjoy watching in squirts are the Quakes 01 and Mustangs 01. It is ALWAYS a great game. The Quakes got he upper hand this time, winning 3-2 in their last prelim game, which meant they would play for gold and the Mustangs would drop to silver. In the gold championship The Quakes 01 goalie, Marisa Trevino played fantastic, stopping all 15 shots she faces. #6 Jaden Guzman was also in beast mode, having a hand in every one of the Quakes goals, scoring once and assisting on the other three. Final score, 4-0.
In squirt silver the Revision Mustangs 01 would defeat the Sharks and the Quakes 00 would defeat the River Rats to set the stage for the championship. In the final #75 Tyler Roth would put the Quakes up first, but this would be their only lead in the game. The Mustangs would go into the half leading 3-1. Each team would play solid defense in the second half and only manage to score once. #45 Dylan Franks scored 3 of the 4 Mustangs goals, and they would be crowned silver champions over the Quakes by a final of 4-2.
Peewee Division – NCR Tour Elite are usually the cream of the crop with this age group but played up in the bantam division to face steeper competition and prepare for the summer. TNT is a new name to the division but they were wearing Tsunami Jerseys and it’s safe to assume the majority of the team is the same. They would grab the #1 seed winning all their games and match up with the #2 Seed Stockton Jr Thunder, who was also undefeated heading into the championship. TNT’s explosive offense was just too much for the Thunder in this one, as they cruised to an 8-1 victory. #5 of TNT, Chris Fisher, was all over the score sheet with 2 goals and 3 assists.
In peewee silver the Quakes would get past the Mustangs and the Sharks handled to Rampage to set up our final. This game would play tighter than the scoresheet would indicate, but when the final buzzer sounded it would be the Quakes ending up on top 5-1. #16 Dalton Teeter had a hat-trick in championship.
Bantam Division – A solid 8-team division would make for some of the best games of the weekend. 3 ties in the prelims would make for interesting seeding, but when the dust settled it would be #1 seed NCR Tour Elite 97 matched up against the #4 Seeded younger NCR Tour Elite, while the #2 Seed RV Mustangs would face the #3 Seed Rampage Delta. These two games were incredible. Elite 97 needed OT to get by the Elite Peewees, and Rampage Alpha barely got past the Mustangs in a nail biter, 2-1.
The gold championship would also be a fantastic game. Elite 97 would take a 3-1 lead into intermission, scoring their 3rd with just 5 seconds remaining until half. They would also score first in the second half, now up 4-1. There was certainly no let up in the Rampage, as they came storming back, scoring 3 straight goals of their own to tie the game. With just 1:39 remaining in the game #3 Dylan Naro would put the Rampage on top. They would also add an empty net goal to take the title over the Elite 97’s by a final of 6-4. It’s also worth noting that out of the 6 goals scored by the Rampage Alpha there were 6 different goal scorers, showing the true depth of the squad to take the title.
Bantam Silver playoffs were crazy, in a good way. Both semi-finals needed overtime to find a winner. The #8 Seed San Jose Inline Sharks defeated the Ripon Savage 3-2, and the Quakes defeated Rampage Omega 7-6. Once again we would have Sharks and Quakes in another championship. Both teams would score a goal in the first half, so we would head into the second half knotted at 1-1. After 17 more minutes, we still had no answers. Both teams scored twice, so we were tied 3-3 heading into overtime. After 5 minutes of sudden death, still tied, so on to the shootout. Both goalies played great, but it was Sharks Goalie Graeme Chrisholm who stole the show, not allowing a single goal. On the other end #68 Chris Hrncir slipped in his shootout attempt, so the Sharks would take the title in dramatic fashion. Also worth noting that Chris had a hand in every Sharks goal, scoring the last one in regulation and assisting on the first two.
Midget Division – 9 teams would compete in this division, which is a great sign for the sport in Nor Cal. Due to the odd number, every team got 4 preliminary games and the top 7 would advance, 3 to gold and 4 to sil
Two teams would go undefeated through the prelims. NCR Tour Elite would grab the #1 Seed and the Saxons the #2 Seed. The Quakes would end up 3rd, with their only loss to the Elite, setting up or gold playoff game. I watched much of this game and it was one of my favorites of the weekend. It would also be an overtime game and one that I honestly thought the Saxons would pull out. In overtime they had a beautiful tic-tac-toe play, but Mitchell Myjak made a huge save. Then about a minute later a puck was slid 5-hole through Mitchell’s legs, but do to the angle ended up going wide. #12 for the Quakes, Spencer Marquiss made the most of his overtime opportunity at the other end and buried his 4th goal of the game to send the Quakes to the final.
The gold championship between the Elite and Quakes was a solid, well-played game. The game would be tied at 1-1 for most of the first half until the Elite popped in two quick goals towards the end of the half by #26 Justin Kerker and #3 Chad Walterman. The Quakes would respond first in the second half on a goal by #11 Ryan Daubermire to close the gap to 3-2. Elite would answer right back to go up 2 again, 4-2. The Quakes wouldn’t go away though, scoring the next goal to close the gap to 4-3. #40 for the Elite, Donny Carter gave the Elite a little breathing room again by scoring with about 5 minutes remaining in the game. The Quakes had a power play at the end of the game but could not execute with the man advantage, so that’s how this one would end, 5-3. Elite stayed perfect on the weekend going 5-0.
In midget silver, the Chico Firebirds would defeat Public Enemy 4-2 and NCR Elite 96 would defeat the Jokers 4-0 to set the stage for the silver championship. This final would be won or lost in the defensive zone. As is often the case in a low scoring game, a goalie stole the show. Firebirds Goaltender, Charlie Robinson, turned away a whopping 28 of the 29 shots he faces! #15 for Chico, Jason Novak would find the net twice, and that would be enough for Chico to take the title by a final of 2-1.
In closing I’d like to thank my tournament directors, referees, and of course all of you that participated, coached, or supported your children this weekend. This is truly a special sport and without your support NARCh Hockey would not exist.