Alright giving up on anything else for a few days. Macs Midget Hockey Tournament kicked off this morning at 10AM and I will be dedicating my life to its viewing. Feel like this leaves me with only one thing to blog about, the games at Max Bell Arena from the day.
GAME 1 CAC 6 VS SASKATOON CONTACTS 3
Tournament doesn’t always open with a bang, day after Christmas and bus legs from the boys can lead to a slow start. Not this year. Solid game from these two teams with CAC pulling away in the third after being down 3-2 in the second. Each team took turns controlling the flow of the game but it was quick and some great plays were made. Tons of attacking the net from both sides and scoring chances were plenty. CAC goalie Erik Szudor was very strong in this one, helping weather a strong Contacts second period. and the combo of Fix-Wolansky and Hyland were dynamic in converting opportunities. Both very creative with the puck. The contacts counter was a young man named Kole Lind who was absolutely stunning to watch with the puck. He made a ton of good decisions and really carried the play for his side. All in all a great start to the tourney.
GAME 2 CALGARY BUFFALOES 5 VS OKANOGAN ROCKETS 2
Another good game but mainly because the Buffs put on a stunning show. A very cohesive looking team that controlled the play and had puck possession almost the entire game. Rockets kept it close with some good stops and some luck but late in the game the Buffs took over. Really the show was #8 Phillips for the Buffs, possibly the most dynamic player I saw in four games today. He instantly has the ability to alter the game whenever he is on the ice. A lot of fun to watch and glad this team plays at Max Bell for the whole tournament. Based on the day, the Buffs have to be a tournament favourite.
GAME 3 CALGARY NORTHSTARS 5 BATTLEFORD STARS 3
First off who thought they would put two teams called the stars in the same pool. Then these two teams further confused matters by both taking warmups in the dark jerseys. After a comical jersey change by Calgary the game was on. Unfortunately the entertainment pretty much ended with the jersey mix up. Was for the most part a very slow and sloppy game, neither team really doing anything exciting and mostly creating a comedy of errors. A possible go ahead go (game was 3-3 at the time) in the third by Battleford was called off by an official who couldn’t keep up with the play and wasn’t able to make a call with any confidence. Poor officiating added to the fact neither of these teams looked good and it was the dud of the day. Thought Blake was pretty impressive for the Calgary side playing a solid game. Was excited to see goaltender Ian Scott play, highly touted Prince Albert Raider prospect, but was disappointed by an off game from him.
GAME 4 GERMAN NATIONALS 5 CALGARY ROYALS 0
Tough game for the local squad, who looked a little off on energy levels. A German team that moved the puck well and could score, converted on the chances they had but they didn’t attack hard. The Royals didn’t create any chances at the net and were lead by APs wearing #9 and #23 as well as solid play from #5 on the back end. Just didn’t look like their night. This game was played after another opening ceremonies preformed by two guys who clearly don’t rehearse their gig (its the same every freaking year with these two) and was highlighted by the one guy not knowing the difference between the German and USA flags. After the post open ceremonies flood the game started with some entertaining rushes and the Germans jumping out early. About 12 minutes in the official had some problems, what we don’t know but enough he had to pull the chute. So we sat waiting for about 20 minutes while they replaced him with another official from the stands. I feel like they could have had the two linesman do the two referee system for a couple of minutes on this one.
Day opens with another Buffs game as they take on the Grande Prairie entry. Buffaloes are 1-0-1 against this team in league play. Just excited to watch the awesome Buffaloes team again.
Game 2 is a little worrisome with the Calgary Northstars going toe-to-toe with Lethbridge. Closer in the standings but Calgary was disappointing today. Also Northstars took down Lethbridge 4-1 on December 13 with their only league meeting.
Game 3 is the first of double feature days features. UFA Bisons vs San Jose. Should be interesting, Bisons with a big win today looking to go to 2 and 0 in the tournament. Always a crapshoot as to the USA teams being good or bad.
Game 4 is Prince Albert Mintos in their first game against German Nationals. PA always brings a good team and hopefully the push the Germans hard in this one and see if they can play a high tempo game.
Feature 2 is the Calgary Flames vs New York Jr Islanders. Flames have been a steadily improving team this year and tied Vancouver NW Giants today to start their tournament. Excited to see the team that goes with the quadrant I coach in. Also hoping to see AP Zach Russell draw into the lineup for this one.
See everyone tomorrow at the Macs!