Off and Running at annual Winter Cup
So here we are, back in Mt. Pleasant at Hot Shots Arena for our annual Winter Cup extravaganza. This event officially kicks off the 2016 season, and it is great to see so many familiar faces. What is not so great is the fact that for the 3rd year in a row, we have been dealt some serious weather. Not only is it about -15 degrees outside with the wind chill, but we have seen some snow and the roads are a mess. But hey, I'm not complaining. Its "Winter" Cup after all, isn't it?
The usual cast of characters are in attendance, with Jay Muro's Black Ice and Vio's Roadrunners making the trip over from Long Island. It was nice to see the Winchester Warriors make the trip up from VA, and the Adult division is full of teams from all over the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Midwest.
We would have liked to see more local teams participating. It is always a challenge to coordinate this event so early in the season because of the ice hockey conflicts, but it doesn't help matters when the local school league decides to schedule their playoffs during the same weekend. We have been running this event on the same weekend for many years, and its unfortunate some of the local teams did not have the opportunity to participate in a national event because of local school league conflicts.
As for the hockey, all divisions have had at least 2 round robin games. We have already completed the Mite division, and I must say that I was very impressed with the Revision Inferno. For a Mite team this early in the season, they really had their game in mid-season form, dominating BIRR in the championship game. Speaking of the Inferno, Nick Pilotti has really done a great job building his program back up over the last couple years, and the coaching is evident in the skill level his teams are showing. Nick is planning on having the Inferno program well represented in Kalamazoo this summer, and I am excited to see how his teams stack up nationally.
Speaking of Kalamazoo, the buzz is strong from everyone in attendance. I haven't spoken to a team yet that isn't excited about checking out Kalamazoo. Teams are eager to check out a new facility, and a destination that is new for our sport. For those who haven't checked it our yet, visit www.wingseventcenter.com, and check out the world class facility.
George Brown, Mike Bell, and 'rook' Tyler True have things under control at the T2H4I booth, Woodsy has the TOUR booth locked in, and our newest sponsor, Black Biscuit is in the house, and Paul Hughes has been chatting it up with just about everyone in attendance. A possible preview of the PRO championship game is about to get underway with the Mudcats taking on Black Ice, so I am going to sign off for now and take a seat in the stands to watch this one. George Brown will check in with you later...