Phanatic about Philly

Entering day 6 in Aston, we have seen our share of unbelievable games, great individual play in skills and 2v2 competitions, and have even dealt with some of the oddest situations, including having to evacuate the building because of a small fire.  However, through the first half of the event, things have been running very smoothly.  Coming into a building like IceWorks for the first time, you are always concerned there will be some nuisances that are not expected, and it is our job to make those as invisible to you as possible.  Having to turn 3 sheets of ice into roller can be challenging, but Stephane and his crew have helped us turn this facility into a great Nationals location.  I have had a number of conversations with people here, and often times the first thing out of their mouth is how great the facility is, and how great it looks.  That is always nice to hear, as our staff and I have worked very hard to make this event and facility a great experience for you and your team(s).

I do want to touch on a few highlights of the event thus far. First and foremost, I think one of the biggest additions to the event has been MOS Live, who have been live streaming games throughout the event.  The quality of the stream is fantastic, and we are featuring play by play by Chris 'Trefty' Treft and our very own George Brown for select playoff and championship games. Ed Sandoval and his crew are very skilled at what they do, and their product is top notch.  If you have not done so already, be sure to visit Kevin at their booth and order your teams DVD package so you can relive all the great moments being born here in Aston.  Later today, we will feature our first live pre-game show on the set so be sure to stay tuned to our Facebook page for more info...

Sponsorship row is jamming as usual with Tour, Alkali, and Labeda displaying all of their new products.  Consistent with that, the D1 division kicked off last night, and the PRO division kicks off tomorrow so a lot of the PRO guys have arrived and are hanging out at these booths.  If you are a fan of these guys like we are, make sure you head on over to sponsorship row, visit with them, and even have them sign your T2H4I magazine!  Speaking of the magazine, I have to say we have received a lot of positive feedback on how it turned out, and I would like pass that credit on to our very own Charli Solis, who was responsible for the design of the magazine. Unfortunately, Charli is not with us this week, as she has volunteered her time teaching at a girls school just outside of Kenya in Africa.  We hope you are having a great time C...we miss you!

At one point yesterday, we featured 7 straight hours of Skills and 2v2 competitions on the Tour rink, and saw some pretty sick dangles.  For me, I really enjoy watching these events because you see some of the high end skill some of these kids have, and it is very impressive, especially considering some of them are 13 and 14 years old.  They were all competing for the right to own one of the custom T2H4I orange and black Skills jersey's, and for many of them, they were willing to try just about anything in order to win one!  Trefty was out on his skates, and put together a pretty sick highlight video of some of the action.  If you have not already seen it, you can do so by visiting our video library on our homepage.  In addition to that video, Trefty has put together some other sweet highlight videos of the first few days of action here at IceWorks.

We have already crowned a number of champions, with the Adult and Atom divisions having already been completed, and the Cups and medals have been a huge hit.  Today is another Championship day, and we are excited to see who will be the next to take home one of these Cups.

Before I sign off and head over to the rink, I do want to offer my condolences to the family and friends of Richard Bryan.  As I am sure you are aware of by now, Richard passed away unexpectedly last Friday.  I have known Rich personally for many years, and considered him a friend.  He refereed many of our events over the years, and his personality was infectious.  Speaking to many of the officials who are working our event, Rich was well liked and respected amongst his peers, and many of them were shaken up when they heard the news.  He was as passionate about our sport as anybody I know, and his energy and spirit will remain strong with all of us forever. RIP Rich!