2015 Steel City Winter Cup Comes to a Close
Saying goodbye to the 2015 Steel City Winter Cup in Pittsburgh, PA
The dust has now settled from another TORHS 2Hot4Ice Winter Cup and I have to say I’m rather sad it had to come to an end. It was a long but great four days in Pittsburgh at the Hot Shots Arena filled with exciting games and countless memories. This was my first Winter Cup and I had high expectations coming off working my first event for TORHS 2Hot4Ice back in Aston, PA at Nationals, I have to say all of them were met to say the least.
First off, I have to thank the staff for being so welcoming and helpful for me in my first event as an actual member of the TORHS 2Hot4Ice staff. I could not be more thankful to Joe Bertaccini and Ron Beilsten for giving me this opportunity. Also, big thanks to John Gelement and George Brown for being such good co-workers and showing me the ropes. It’s hard to find four guys with more passion for the game of roller hockey and I’m proud to share my passion with them as well and try and pass it on to you all.
Now back to the tournament at hand, I’m not exaggerating when I say this, but I feel the games could not have been any better this weekend. Whether be the thrilling overtime victory in the Pro Series Championship for the Tour Mudcats over Alkali Pama or the 9-8 final in a nine round shootout win for the Tour Roadrunners in the Squirt Division, all ages, levels and divisions produced unbelievable games.
I still can’t believe how many great plays came from the Pro Championship. The goalies, Zach Lane for Alkali Pama and Brett Leggat for the Mudcats, put on a show with highlight reel save after save. Leggat had one of the better saves I have seen in quite some time flashing the leather while he was down and out to rob one of the best (if not the best) players in the game, Travis Noe. Luckily I had the camera zoomed in on the net to get a great shot of that amazing save. Speaking of Mr. Noe he put on a show as well with a beautiful toe drag shot for Pama’s first goal and then he nearly won the game for Pama in the last minute of regulation when he undressed all four Mudcats with some crazy stick handling before putting the puck just wide. CLICK HERE to see the highlights from the game and trust me you’re crazy if you don’t check them out.
Another exciting moment was announcing our newest member of the TORHS 2Hot4Ice Hall of Fame, Charles Yoder. Although I have only had the opportunity to meet him a few occasions, in that short time I fully understand why everyone always speaks so highly of him. Just listening to people talk about all he has done for the game is amazing and I can’t think of a better person to induct this year at Nationals in Detroit. The best part was sitting around talking with his son, CJ, and other Tour guys just listening to their stories about Charlie. Congratulations to Mr. Yoder, well deserved and it is going to be an honor to get to know him more.
We owe, as always, a huge thanks to our sponsors for help making the Steel City Winter Cup a great one. Our platinum sponsors Alkali and Tour did a great job adding to our event to make it a special one as always.
So now it’s time to look forward to our season, as the Winter Cup is just the start. Over the next couple months, we will be all over the country and even Canada with all our regional events followed by our big event in Taylor, MI. This should be an excellent tournament, as always, with some new features set to surely please. The Team USA try-out camp for the IIHF World Championships will be held right in the middle of the tournament. People are already getting excited for this just in talking to folks around the rink this weekend. We also will have all the game streamed live on MOS Live again like last year, with select games featuring myself on play-by-play, which I am beyond thrilled to do again and try and bring excitement to games and share my passion for broadcasting with you all. We hope to see all of you in Taylor for what is shaping up to be yet another great Nationals.
Thanks again for making me feel so welcome and for making this event one that I will never forget! Have a great rest of the winter, stay warm and we will see at all the Regionals and in Taylor, MI for Nationals.