Can you say...SOLD OUT?!
Yea...ummmm....it's 5:44am and we have games going on on both rinks! Why, you ask? Simply because it's yet another TORHS2Hot4Ice sold out regional event.
We were here until 2am last night, and are in for a good twenty-one hours of hockey today, ON BOTH RINKS! It's just mind boggling how this regional has grown year after year. We have made a commitment to building every regional in the country, and this one has taken off. Teams from five different states/provinces are competing this weekend, and we have two- fourteen team divisions, an eleven team division and six total divisions playing, which could have been seven but we had to turn all of the mens teams away. All in all, 60 teams will pack Hot Shots Arena in Mt. Pleasant, PA this weekend.
Last night, we got underway with some great games. The two atom teams that were in action yesterday split their two games. The Bandits and Fusion are so close that the combined score in their two games is 11-10.
By the way...this just happened: Jason Muro, bright and chipper walks in the rink at 5:45am to proclaim: "I MUST REALLY LOVE THIS SPORT TO WAKE UP THIS EARLY AND SEE YOU TWO IDIOTS" He is in rare form, check that, it's not rare form, it's just Jay. His story this morning...priceless. I just can't put it on here.
In the mite division, Scottdale Inferno is sending an early message with a 2-0 start, outscoring their opponents 11-1. All local teams played in that division last night with the New York teams and the Rattlers out of Richmond, VA beginning play today.
The Mississauga Rattlers made the trek down from Canada and are playing in the squirt and peewee divisions. They are a strong squirt team and it's a ton of fun to watch those guys play. They mercy ruled their first squirt game and I've got my eye on them in that division today.
In peewee, The Bridgeville Bulldawgz- Thomas (AAA) look strong. They are a team that we haven't seen yet this year but last night I got to watch these guys and I definitely will be checking them out today. They look to be one of the top teams in that fourteen team division.
In bantams, the only team to play two games last night was the Butler Cobras and they won both. Their coach comes dressed to impress and they came ready to play. The Mission Bauer Bordercats look good as always as they made the trip from Michigan. These two teams do not play each other in the round robin but are bound to meet each other in the playoffs. If that happens, it may end up being one of the games of the tournament.
The midget and junior divisions are pretty even and have strong teams throughout. We are only three games into those divisions combined so we don't know much yet about the division makeup other than the fact that both divisions should be pretty well balanced.
Last night was interesting on and off the rink , to say the least. The Pittsburgh Penguins fans were stacked in front of the television as the Penguins were shocked by the New York Islanders last night. It was amazing to see the faces of all the fans in Hot Shots as if the world had ended when their beloved Pens lost last night. I have to admit, I didn't feel so bad about it, especially after Nate Gerger asked me, "hey George, how your Sabres doing?" It rubbed me the wrong way, but it felt good when that trash talker, Gerger, had to eat his words. Just imagine if they lose the series- I DO NOT WANT TO BE IN PITTSBURGH FOR THAT ONE. Jason and Vio are happy about the Islanders tying the series. They cheered their Islanders on in a Pittsburgh Applebee's last night- pretty sure that didn't go over too well with the faithful here in town. Lenny Schwartz is already in this morning chanting, "LET'S GO ISLANDERS" God, I hope he makes it through the weekend!
Our new merchandise is in. We will post pictures at some point this weekend, but these things are flying off the shelves. The shorts were already a hot item and these new mens and ladies shirts are going fast.
Hot Shots is always a great place to be. The travel is easy from so many parts of the east coast and the midwest as well. The people here are awesome. The Gerger family is here, as usual, causing trouble; Nick Pilotti, the rink manager, is always a good guy to talk to. He and I had to work a deal at the beginning of the tournament ;). If there is one thing that I would have to say Hot Shots is famous for, it would have to be the food at their concession stand. The choices here are like no other. It's one of the only places in the country that I don't believe I ever eat outside of the rink during an event. The menu consists of Philly Cheese Steaks, Buffalo Wings (traditional and boneless) burgers, chicken salads (which was my choice last night)- with fries in it and much much more. I LOVE IT!! I'm currently on my way to get a breakfast sandwich since John and I left the hotel too early and breakfast was not available.
So...as I walk to the concession stand, I'll stop writing. There will be enough to write about all weekend so make sure you check back for all the info.
Shout out to one of the best hockey families in the business. Mike Collela and his mom brought me a signed puck and a picture from one of my favorite hockey players, Danny Briere. It's been a good morning, and it's great to be around amazing people.