Sunday Update from Tucson
Pacific Cup Blog Sunday by Tommy Tuohy
January 17, 2020
Hello from Tucson! It has been an exciting weekend of hockey at the Tucson Indoor Sports Center over this holiday weekend. It is hard to think of a better way as a roller hockey player to start off the 2021 calendar year with some tournament hockey and this is exactly that.
This weekend’s tournament marks the first of two NARCh/Pacific Cup tournaments to be held in Tucson, Arizona and features the host program Tucson Jr. Wildcats, as well as out-of-town programs such as the Corona Bulldogs, OC Blades, Tour Raiders, Konixx Mutiny, Delta River Rats, the Smurfs, and the Oregon Rollin Reign. Other Arizona programs Peoria Desert Scorpions, Team X, and Konixx Outcasts also made the trip south for the weekend as well.
While the hockey community has been hit relatively hard in the last year or so and events have not been able to go on everywhere as regularly scheduled, the one silver lining has been that, as other regions became unable to host hockey tournaments, the Arizona roller community has been able to host new teams for tournaments that may never have traveled here in the first place. The Tucson Indoor Sports Center (TISC) has been a staple of the Arizona roller hockey scene for years (dating back to when it was called Bladeworld) and I believe the location of one of my first ever hockey tournaments played in 2002, so it was nice to see a lively facility nearly nonstop (6:30 am to 11:00 pm) all weekend long. Without further ado, here is the run down of the weekend’s action so far:
Round robin play saw the Bulldogs Blue and Bulldogs Black both post a perfect 4-0 record, while the Mutiny and Bulldogs Yellow finished at 3-1 and 2-1-1, respectively. The Rollin Reign and Jr. Wildcats A each finished 1-2-1 and the Jr. Wildcats B, Tour Raiders, and Bulldogs 8u rounded out the division.
The silver division consisted of the Jr. Wildcats A, Tour Raiders, Jr. Wildcats B, and the Bulldogs 8u, which resulted in the Jr. Wildcats A taking on the Bulldogs 8u in one semi-final and Tour Raiders taking on the Jr. Wildcats B in the other. The Jr. Wildcats A held on against the Bulldogs 8u by a score of 10-5 and the Wildcats B edged out the Raiders 6-5 in an overtime thriller to set up a Wildcats vs. Wildcats crowd-pleaser Silver Final.
Later, the gold division semi-final saw the Bulldogs Black eliminate the Konixx Mutiny to set up a Bulldogs Black vs. Bulldogs Blue championship game as well.
The 12u division has been entertaining so far, but there is still much hockey to be played. The early Sunday morning slate included a Rollin Reign/Bulldogs Black matchup that went back and forth throughout and ended 6-4, the Junior Wildcats took down the OC Blades despite a late comeback effort by OC, and the Bulldogs Blue handed the Raiders a loss in each of their first games as well. As I said, there is more to come with 12u with the round robin concluding tonight and playoffs starting tomorrow morning.
Round robin for the 14u division is now all wrapped up. 14u division featured the Bulldogs Blue and the Bulldogs Black undefeated atop the standings in convincing fashion, with only 4 and 6 goals allowed each, respectively. They will both play each other for the first time of the weekend in the Gold Final tomorrow morning in what should be a good game for bragging rights to take back home with them to Corona.
The silver division will end in a four-team playoff, with the River Rats coming in as the top seed drawing the Raiders as the low seed and with the Jr. Wildcats facing off against Team X in the other game with the winners to face each other for the Silver Final.
The 16u division is the smallest division of the tournament, but has been exciting nonetheless. The division concludes with the Gold and Silver championships, which have slated the Peoria Desert Scorpions and the OC Blades in the Gold Final, and the Konixx Mutiny and the Bulldogs in the Silver Final. Each of these championship games features a rematch from round robin play on Friday. In each of their last meetings, the OC Blades bested the Scorpions in a close 5-4 matchup. Vince Keller of the OC Blades tallied 7 goals and 4 assists for a total of 11 points in three round robin games and goaltender Luke Weir has only allowed four goals (all to the Scorpions in game #1) in all of round robin. Meanwhile, the Scorpions have been led offensively by Eli Shulman and Sheldon Wilson with 9 and 8 points each, and Aiden Biswanger has been solid in net for them as well.
The Midget division has much left to be settled at this point with round robin not concluding until tomorrow (Monday) afternoon and the Gold/Silver finals taking place as the last two games of the tournament. To this point, the Smurfs, OC Blades, and Outcasts are each unbeaten with wins in each of their first games. The Jr. Wildcats and Bulldogs Black are still looking to get on the board with their first wins today as the 18u action picks back up later on in the afternoon. Among the action tonight, the Bulldogs and Wildcats will play each other, and the undefeated OC Blades will take on the other two unbeaten teams- the Outcasts and the Smurfs- with potential playoff implications on the line in all games!
That’s all from the booth here in Tucson for now. Looking forward to seeing how the rest of the games shake out this weekend and seeing who is crowned as the ten eventual champions of the weekend.