This weekend we were all treated to a great time, as we experienced hockey in paradise on the island of Oahu. What made this event more meaningful than most regional qualifiers was the fact that there was a Pro Division and $10,000 up for grabs. This drew out many of the best players in the game from the mainland. Here’s how the divisions played out.
Four teams competed in pro, the Tour Mudcats, Mission Axiom, Arizona Arsenal, and Hawaii. The last preliminary game for all teams was a meaningful one. The Mudcats and Axiom had an intense battle for the #1 seed and a bye to the championship, which ended in a 2-2 tie. Axiom would grab the #1 seed due to goals against. Hawaii and Arizona were playing to stay alive, as the loser in the game would be excluded from the playoffs. It was also a great game and it appeared that Arizona was going to pull it off, but with just 6 seconds left and an extra attacker on the rink, Hawaii managed to sneak one in for the tie. They would advance into the playoffs, due to having fewer goals against than Arizona.
As expected, Mission and Tour would meet for the championship. #9 CJ Yoder would put the Mudcats on the board first to take the early lead and the Mudcats would go into the half up 3-2. # 23 Aaron Moss would score for Mission with about 10 minutes to go in the second to tie it 3-3. All 3 goals for Mission up to that point were scored by Moss, completing the hat trick. It would stay knotted for much of the third until CJ Yoder put his team back ahead with over 2 remaining. It was an exciting finish, as an odd-man rush resulted in a shot off goalie Troy Redmann’s helmet that was turned into an a scoring opportunity the other way. With :56 seconds in the game Taylor Kane would find the net to tie it up for Mission. Just like the previous game, this one would end in a tie in regulation.
The excitement would continue through overtime, as each team had good chances to win and both goalies made some incredible saves. #89 Juaquin Chavira proved to be a great pick up for Mission, as his usual squad, the Pama Cyclonces, were not available to attend this event. The last shot of the game would come off of Chavira’s stick and Mission would win the first Hawaiian Pro Tourney by a final of 5-4.
4 Teams competed in a balanced mite division. So balanced that both the #1 Seed Kahuna and #2 Seed Team Warrior got knocked off in the semifinals by the #3 Seed Team Maui and #4 Seed Team Gecko to set up the championships. Both of those games were determined by 1 goal. In the championship game #44 Madison Burke got Maui started off with 2 quick goals and ended up with 5 points in this high scoring affair. Divisional high scorer #26 Attilla Gooden had a hat trick for the Geckos, but it wasn’t enough as Maui scored 10 goals in this one to capture the title.
With only 3 teams in the squirt division, each team got to play each other twice. Team Gecko and Team Warriors would split victories in the prelims and would have to settle it in the championship. Shaun Apiki had himself one memorable championship game, as he scored a whopping 5 times for Team Warrior. It was a tight one throughout and the Warriors would need every one of them. They went on to defeat Team Gecko 6-5 as high scorer in the division, #26 Preston Soekowa, had the game winner for the Warriors after Apiki’s 5 goals.
5 teams competed in a round robin format in the peewee division. It was a balanced division and no teams won all of their games, but Kahuna grabbed the #1 seed with only one loss, and that was to Team Kauai/BI (Big Island). They would meet again in the championship and once again Team Kauai/BI had Team Kahuna’s number. Jean-Luc Tremblay was unstoppable in the championship, scoring every goal for Team Kauai/BI. They also played great team defense, and defeated Kahuna 4-1.
Bantam was one of our most competitive divisions, as we didn’t see any games decided by a wide margin. Team Gecko grabbed the #1 seed by way of a tie and 2 wins. The #3 Warrior would get by Kauai 2-1 in the semi final to face Team Gecko for the championship. They tied in their first matchup but Team Warrior came out flying in this one and grabbed a 4-1 lead by half. Emerson Lau had a hat trick for Team Warrior as they took the championship by a final of 6-4.
The men’s division was by far our largest division with 9 teams, and definitely one of the most exciting. Not one team would go undefeated through their 4 games, but Team Maui grabbed the #1 seed with 3 wins and a tie. Mixed Arsenal from Arizona lost it’s last prelim game to Aoki’s Shave Ice, but that was their only loss so they grabbed the #2 seed and would face Maui for gold. #21 Matt Cober had 2 goals for Maui, but the attack of the Arsenal was a more balanced one. There were 6 different goal scorers for the Arsenal and they defeated Maui by a final of 7-5 to grab the men’s gold title.
For men’s silver Those Guys would meet the winner of Aoki’s Shave Ice and the Sharks. They had tied early in the tournament but Aoki’s had no problem in this one and handled the Sharks 7-1. They carried this momentum through their championship game. #21 Todd Masada got them on the board first and also last as Aoki’s Shave Ice would take home the men’s silver championship by a final of 3-1 over Those Guys.
It was an incredible weekend and we hope that more teams will be able to join us for this wonderful tourney next year. For all who were part of the great weekend, Mahalo!