The sun is out and the rinks are packed, so needless to say it’s a great day for roller hockey in Southern California.
Even though we’re just over 1/3rd of the event, there’s already been some great finishes. The 18-team peewee division is in the tail end of the preliminary games and teams are being seeded for playoffs. I’m very impressed by the number of quality teams at the top and it’s a dogfight to see who gets seeded platinum.
I just watched the second half of a great peewee battle between the Tour Mudcats and So Cal Synergy. The Mudcats led for much of the game, but the Synergy scored a few back-to-back goals to take a 5-4 lead. With just under 10 seconds remaining the Synergy had trouble clearing the puck and the Mudcats were able to throw it at the net and bang in a rebound with just 3 seconds remaining in the game to tie it 5-5. It looks like both will be seeded in platinum since they won their two previous games, so there’s a good chance we could see a rematch in the playoffs or championship.
It’s always nice to have an 8-team atom division and is obviously a good sign that the sport is healthy. Unfortunately there is a huge gap in talent and experience. There’s some on the young side being 6 and 7, so when they’re playing against some of the best 8’s in the country, it’s a bit rough. We really do have 3 levels between these 8 teams, a top tier, middle teams, and the younger new teams. Hopefully they all have a great time regardless and feel that playing in this event was a positive experience.
I can’t talk about this tournament without touching on ice hockey in the area. There seems to be more crossover than ever, which is good, and sometimes bad. Obviously it’s bad when they can play in a major roller hockey tournament due to an ice conflict. The great news is that I think we’re over a tipping point of sorts. The better kids on the ice teams play roller and love it and the numbers are in their favor now. When almost everyone on the team plays roller and loves it, the coach or other parents can’t really talk bad about roller hockey. The kids that don’t play roller and only ice are on the outside looking in now and missing out on all the fun. For this reason we have a lot of new teams playing this weekend that you probably haven’t even ever heard of, and they’re very good!
Since this event is so large and there’s so much to watch we’re actually going to do 2 videos from this tournament. One will be highlights basically up to this point and the other one will have highlights later in the day and through the playoffs tomorrow. We’ll also continue to put pictures up but I think I will take a break from that today when the lighting is tough. I got a bit frustrated yesterday taking so many pictures that didn’t come out great due to the shadows and bright sun.
If you’re here, we hope you’re having fun!