Recap in Atlanta
Wow. What a weekend it was in Snellville! 89 games in an action packed event that featured some very exciting finishes on Championship Sunday. This is why we love what we do, and why we think our sport is the most exciting game in the world. I would like to send a very special thank you to Ronnie William, Tim Gaines, and the entire staff at SGAA for making sure the facility was in order when we arrived and for making sure everything was runnning smoothly throughout the weekend.
As I mentioned in a previous blog, this event really had a National-esque feel to it, which was largely due to the amount of out of town teams that travelled in. However, that being said, the local Atlanta market certainly deserves its props too! Another market that continues to grow in numbers, and the likes of Tim Harrington(Tour Lizard Kings), George Goodwin(Jr. Gladiators), Randy McMillan and Delmar Prowant(PTC Jets) are largely responsible. Kudos to these guys for continuing to make sure that more and more kids are playing our great sport. I have known these guys for a long time, and they are the main reason our events in Atlanta have been such a success over the last several years. In addition to these programs, Jay Orzech's Bruise Brothers and Rob Carter's Atlanta Rampage teams have been long time supporters, and deserve a share of that credit.
As for the hockey this weekend, we had some great games. Its always a blast to watch the little guys compete, and the 8U Championship featured the local Jr. Gladiators facing off against the top seeded Primetime Dragons out of Raleigh, NC. In a tight battle, the Jr. Gladiators prevailed with a 4-2 victory, and took home the gold. The 10U Tier 1 Championship might have been the best game of the tournament. The game featured the TN Knuckleheads against the Tour Lizard Kings. The Lizard Kings had cruised through round robin, going undefeated, but found themselves down 1-0 late in the game against the Knuckleheads. That is when Miles Harrington decided to take over. With just under 30 seconds remaining, Harrington tied the score at 1, with a beautiful move and a shot right under the crossbar. Then, in overtime, Harrington won it for the Lizard Kings with another great individual effort. This kid has a very bright future, and the Lizard Kings team is one of the better 10U teams we have seen this year.
The old saying 'save the best for last' was certainly apropos this weekend with the last game of the tournament featuring Jerry Fecteau's Mission Sting facing off against Paul Martin's Alkali Assault 98's in the 16U division. These teams are rivals, and this game was quite the battle. With the Sting leading 2-1 late in the game, the Assualt tied it up in the last few seconds to send the game into overtime. In overtime, the Assault's Jared Medwar ended it for the the Assault, sending them home with the championship. I expect to see these teams re-kindle their rivalry at Nationals.
Many of you probably noticed the production crew that was shooting the event throughout the weekend. We are really excited about the partnership with Full Lock Media, and can't wait to share with you whats to come from their great work this weekend in the next few weeks. I would like to thank Carl Boneri, Lee Garmon, and their entire staff. These guys are very talented, and were a pleasure to work with this weekend.
We are off next weekend, but have our first double-header of the year the weekend of April 26th, when we will be at Dreamsports Center in Apex, NC and Joe Dumars Fieldhouse in Detroit, MI. Both events are expected to be very strong. If you are planning on attending either of those events, please be sure to get your registrations in ASAP.