It’s early morning day 2 here at KIHA. Many people are roaming around the rink this morning on limited sleep, with 35 teams in two days here many were working hard, playing, or watching games until 2am. It’s all smiles though, as the Aloha Spirit exist even inside a hockey rink. The highlight yesterday outside of the great hockey had to be the Tahitian Dancers and Drums.
This is the 3rd year having this event and our largest so far, with 34 teams. A major reason for the growth is due to Jami Yoder’s extra effort in making some divisions happen. For the 8u kids and 35 and over players, they are not set teams but just a bunch of individuals that wanted to play. As anyone who’s ever put teams together knows this takes a lot of time and energy. His extra effort allowed a lot of people to play this weekend that wouldn’t have had that opportunity otherwise.
Our only champions crowned yesterday were in the 8u division, as the Bears came out on top against the Geckos for the gold title, and the Angry Birds defeated the Warriors for silver. The Bears had 4 players from the mainland, plus a few talented kids from the other islands, while the other three teams were mostly comprised of players that call KIHA their home. Everyone had fun and left with a medal. I few nice parents went out of their way to thank us for including the 8’s, but it’s Jami who deserves most the credit.
The highlight for most of the youngsters here at the rink yesterday was watching the pros. I have to say, I’m very impressed with the team from KIHA. They’re fast and play smart. They’re honestly just a few finishers away from really being able to pull off an upset against one of the big dogs. It’s certainly not a lack of being in shape or effort. In my opinion they outworked both the Mudcats and Pama, they just didn’t finish as well.
Watching them I had a funny thought yesterday. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a movie buff, especially old silly outdated movies that only people my age can relate to, or would ever think is funny. Anyway, watching the KIHA Pro’s is a little like the movie North Shore, but in reverse. In the movie a guy from the mainland who had only surfed in a wave machine tries to come over and become a legit pro surfer. In real life we have guys from the island playing against pro hockey players. It’s pretty impressive.
Having said all of this, as predicted the Pro Championship will come down to the Pama Cyclones and Tour Mudcats. They played twice yesterday, and both were great games. The first one ended in a 1-1 tie and Pama took the second 4-3. I’m sure the 3rd game between them will be the best of all with the cash up for grabs.
The squirt silver championship just started so time to get off the computer, but look for a tourney recap tonight or tomorrow with a breakdown of how every division played out.