10 days, 448 Games, 16 Skills Events, and a lot of memories that will last a lifetime. We have come to the end of the 2014 TORHS 2Hot4Ice Championships here in Aston, and I can honestly say this was one of the smoothest events I have ever been a part of. As I mentioned in a previous blog, you never know what challenges you will face when you come into a new facility that has very little experience working with a roller hockey tournament. That is why it is so important to have a staff in place that has the ability to react to issues in a way that ensures you, our customers, have the most enjoyable experience because, at the end of the day, that is our primary focus! 

That being said, I was reminded once again why our staff is the best in the business. National Tournament Directors John Gelement, George Brown, and Mike Bell made sure that IF there was an issue, it was quickly addressed and resolved. These guys have been around the game so long, their ability to react to a situation quickly really makes the difference between a good event and a great event. They were not alone. Dave McNeil and Kyle O’Kane were on the ground floor throughout the event answering any questions that were asked of them. Our newest staff member Chris ‘Trefty’ Treft was the man on the mic. Chris did a masterful job emceeing many of the skills events, as well as play-by-play for many of the games that were live streamed by MOS Live, and he was the guy responsible for all of the highlight videos published throughout the event. Rob Coggin kept the officials in check, and Tom Schneider and Big Phil Maroon were on point checking teams in. It is important to recognize these guys for all of their hard work. Without them, this event would not be the success that is was!

As for the event itself, I watched so much good hockey the last couple weeks, it is hard to pinpoint a particular highlight. Whether it was the Reebok Destroyers victory in the back and forth Atom AAA Championship during the opening weekend, or the LA PAMA Cyclones come from behind PRO Championship in the closing weekend, the hockey was off the charts everywhere in between. So many tight games, shootouts, OT games, I was often reminded why I love this game! From the youngest kids in attendance, there was an excitement that is unmatched in any other sport. One of the most enjoyable parts of this job is awarding a young athlete a hard earned medal, and seeing them smile from ear to ear. It is what makes this job so rewarding!

A very big thank you goes out to our sponsors. Tour, Alkali, and Labeda made sure their presence was felt, as sponsorship row was always packed with people checking out all of their new products on display. Having these guys in attendance is a HUGE part of the atmosphere we are trying to create off the rink. Chad Siebel, Joe Cook, and Rob Chornomud are poster boys for our sport, and we appreciate their continued support! Ed Sandoval and his crew at MOS Live did a great job streaming the event, and we are looking forward to a long-term relationship with them at our events!

Last but not least, the biggest thank you goes out to YOU! Many of you travelled from all over the country to take part in this year’s event, and we could never thank you enough! Your participation is what drives these events. Being over a holiday weekend, many of you chose to spend your valuable vacation time with us, and that means a lot to all of us! Many of the largest, most prestigious programs in the country were well represented here. What a lot of people do not understand is the amount of work the leaders of these organizations do voluntarily to make sure their teams are competing in these events. It’s no easy task, and you have to have a passion and love for the game in order to make the necessary sacrifices.

Over the next couple months, we will be working on our date and location for the 2015 TORHS 2Hot4Ice Championships, and as soon as we have that locked down, we will make the announcement. Additionally, we will be announcing the date and location of our Winter Cup very soon!

Thanks again for making this year’s event one that I will never forget! Have a great rest of your summer, and we look forward to seeing you next year!