My Wednesday night hockey buddies on the Ice-A-Holics registered our team for a USA Hockey tournament at City National Arena in Summerlin this past weekend. This is the practice facility for our Vegas Golden Knights.
Our team was placed in the Bronze 21+ division. The first game was Friday afternoon against the Phoenix Bullies. We won that game 5-1. The second game was Friday evening against Menace Ice Hockey. I believe a lot of their players are from Omaha, Nebraska, with a couple of local players added to fill out the team. We won that game 8-4, and certainly needed some ice cold ones after those two tough battles.
By the way, if you’ve never attended a weekend or holiday hockey tournament with your children or friends, you’ll see this quite often, as players dry out their sweat-soaked equipment between games.
The third game of the round robin was Saturday evening at “CNA” (City National Arena). They were having problems with the compressors which help freeze the ice, and we ended up playing in some very unfavorable conditions with puddles and snow everywhere. I fell a couple of times (what’s new) and I was soaked from head to toe as if I’d fallen in a swimming pool.
Oh well, both teams had to play in the same conditions. Most of the players on Mid Coast Customs were from the Rockford, Illinois area. We were up 3-0 going into the third period against the toughest team we had faced all weekend.
They came roaring back to tie it up at 3-3 with less than a minute to go. The game ended in a regulation tie, so we went to a shoot-out. Our guys put three shoot-out goals past their goalie, and our netminder stopped 2 of 4 to give us the win. The best part about any hard fought hockey game, win or lose, is the handshake line afterwards.
The Ice-A-Holics went undefeated in the round robin to place first in the Bronze 21+ Division. The Phoenix Bullies, who we played in the first game of the tournament, won their next two games and placed second. The championship game between the Ice-A-Holics and Phoenix Bullies took place at City National Arena on Sunday morning at 9:20am. Unfortunately for me, and very fortunate for my team, I was not able to play in that game. Two of our other players could not make that game either. So a hearty band of 10 bruised and battered skaters, and our great goalie, faced off in the championship contest. I know from one of the player’s wife’s texts to my wife, that the Ice-A-Holics were up 1-0 after the first period. Our team exploded for 4 goals in the second and were up 5-0 after two. We put one more in the net in the third to win 6-0! A shutout for our goalie and team, and a championship banner!
The post-championship lunch was well deserved. Congrats to my hockey brothers on the Ice-A-Holics for a fun, championship weekend and lots of great memories!
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