33 teams are playing 74 games in 5 divisions this weekend at in St. Louis. That may not seem like huge numbers, but when you consider that All American is a one rink facility those numbers are awesome. It meant that we started on Thursday night and will skate Sunday until 11:00. Ambitious? Yes, but the folks here are used to it. St. Louis is one of the hot beds for roller hockey and Rob and Tammy here at All American love what they do and it shows in the product they put on the floor. Here’s how all the divisions played out:
The Atom division had three teams this weekend. Two teams from the Blast organization and a relatively new team to tournament play in the Springfield Snipers. Each team faced each other twice in round robin. Tour Blast Blue finished at the top with a 3-0-1 record. Tour Blast White finished second with 5 pts. The team from Springfield did not manage to win a game this weekend but by the looks on their faces and the faces of the parents and coaches you wouldn’t have known. The championship game was a tale of two halves. Tour Blast White jumped out early with goals from #24 Blake Boatright, #17 Zach Maupin, and #88 Tyler Culleton. Blake Boatright tallied another with a little over 4 minutes left in the half to put his squad ahead 4-0. It wasn’t until 2:40 left in the half that the Blast Blue got on the board when #24 Ricky Sheffey put one past the opposing goalie. That goal meant more than you’d think because when the second half started it was all Blast Blue. They scored early and in bunches. Five different players scored in just 6 minutes to put them ahead. With 8 minutes left #17, Joe Berni scored his second of the half and a minute later #19, Hunter Bulger also added his second. In the end, Tour Blast Blue rattled off 8 unanswered goals. Final score: Tour Blast Blue 8-4.
We had 4 teams in Mite playing 3 round robin games with the top two advancing to the Gold final and the bottom two to the Silver final. Coast 2 Coast 200 took the top seed and will play against Tour Blast 2001 while the Lil Giants will be matched up against the Springfield Snipers. In the Silver final the Lil Giants jumped out less than 40 seconds in with a tally by #3, Justin Skaggs. The Snipers answered back when #19, Braden Sisco slid one by the goalie to knot the game at 1. The Snipers scored again 30 seconds later to take the lead with a goal by #14, Colin Ellens. The Lil Giants settled down and decided to attack the Snipers. Four players scored 2 goals apiece, #6, Brett Anderson, #16, Jared Bratton, #88 Tyler Culleton, and #28, Brett Robinson. The Lil Giants were too much for the Snipers to handle and won handedly 10-2. The Gold final was a matchup of the top two teams, Coast 2 Coast 2000 and the Tour Blast 2001. These two met in round robin with Coast2Coast winning by a score of 5-3. Tour Blast was looking for revenge. Less than a minute into this one Coast to Coast got on the board with a goal by #34, Nathan Solice. The Blast answered back with a snipe by #7, Dillon Dunaway. Solice would add another to give Coast 2 Coast the lead again. The first half ended with Coast 2 Coast ahead by one. The second half was all Coast 2 Coast as #42 Kenny Gibson scored 2 as did #87, Adam Trunko. Coast 2 Coast took the game by the score of 6-3.
The Squirt division had 8 teams vying for the title. After round robin we split the teams up into groups of four for playoffs. This division had teams range from platinum level to club level. Coast 2 Coast dominated the round robin with a perfect record. This is a strong team that will compete for the gold in Florida. The Silver bracket had the Tennessee Wildcats and the Knights advance to the Final with wins over the Springfield Snipers and the Tour Blast 2001 respectively. Each of the championships had goals scored quickly and this game was no different. The Wildcats scored two in the first minute, both by #3, Gray Northern. The Knights got one back when #12, Logan Shine put one past the Wildcats goalie. The teams traded goals back and forth during the first half and they went to intermission with the Wildcats in the lead by one. The second half was a chess match as each team buckled down and played some great defense. There was a lot of neutral zone play and not many scoring chances. Tennessee added an insurance goal with less than 4 minutes left and that was enough to lead them to the title. Final score: Wildcats 5 – Knights 3. The Gold final had Coast 2 Coast 98 matched up against the Tour Blast 98. They reached the final with semifinal wins over the 99ers and the Spartans. Coast 2 Coast dominated this game from the start. It was 7-0 before the Blast could put one in to avoid a mercy. In the end Coast 2 Coast was too strong for the Blast and won easily by the score of 8-3.
The PeeWee division was our largest this weekend with 10 teams. We split them evenly after the round robin into playoff brackets. The top tier consisted of Coast 2 Coast 96, three Tour Blast teams and City Heat. The bottom tier had Coast 2 Coast 97, Tour Blast Black, Mudcats, Carolina Fusion 97, and the Snipers. City Heat in Gold and Tour Blast Black in Silver won their play-in games. This set up the semifinals in each division. In the Gold division it was Coast 2 Coast 96 and the Blast 96 who prevailed in their games. This was another final where the scoring came quickly. Coast 2 Coast jumped on the Blast early as #28, Charlie Comb scored twice in the first few minutes to set the tone. #17, Brycon Johnson added another less than a minute later. It seemed as if the Blast were out of this game, but two quick goals by #6, Jake Champign got then back in. The half would end with Coast 2 Coast holding a slim one goal lead. Early in the second Charlie Comb completed the hat trick to give Coast 2 Coast it’s 2 goal lead back. This ended up the only goal of the second half. Final score – Coast 2 Coast 96 4 – 2. In the Silver division it was the Carolina Fusion 97 and Coast 2 Coast 97 that made It through to the championship game. The game started a bit strange when Coast 2 Coast took the floor and had the division’s leading scorer, Travis Barrett starting in net. When the puck dropped it was a back and forth battle for the entire first half. #15 from Coast 2 Coast, Tyler Hoffman scored twice and Carolina had three different players netting goals. At the half it was Coast 2 Coast up by one. At half Coast 2 Coast decided to change goalies, but the Fusion were energized by a halftime speech from their coach. They came out strong and scored 4 goals. The Fusion are a well balanced team and it showed with 7 different scorers in this game. Final score – Fusion 7-5.
The Bantam division consisted of 8 teams playing 3 round robin games. The top seven will advance to the playoff round with the #1 seed getting the bye. Coast 2 Coast 94 won all three of their games and took the #1 seed. Tour Blast 95, Gateway Gophers, and Coast 2 Coast 96 all won their playoff games to finish out the semifinal matchups. Coast 2 Coast 94 bested the Gophers and Tour Blast 95 came back back from two goals down to force overtime and eventually outlasted Coast 2 Coast 96 in a shootout to setup a date with Coast 2 Coast 94 for the Final. Riding the high from their shootout win the Blast got on the board early by the end of the half it was 3-0. The second period got a little nasty and led to penalty after penalty. #10, Lucas Stewart scored twice and added an assist for the Blast while #11, Steve Farina assisted on three goals. This game was never in question and the Blast won easily by the score of 5-1.
That wraps up another NARCh in St. Louis. I want to thank the staff of All American, especially Tammy, Rob, Tyler, and Quincy. You made it fun and the hockey was awesome. I know we’ll see a good showing from St. Louis in Florida. See you all there.