Controversial interference penalty with less than a minute left decides 2010 NARCh North American Rollerhockey Championship Pro Division Final in San Jose
MISSION LABEDA SNIPERS (NY) FORWARD MAKES DIVING PASS IN O-ZONE
TOUR MUDCATS FORWARD BREAKS UP ICE IN 2ND PERIOD
The massive 2010 NARCh North American Rollerhockey Championships came to a close this Sunday at the 3-rink SilverCreek Sportsplex in San Jose. A large 336-team field, several thousand hockey players, and 848 games wrapped after two and a half weeks of competition in the South Bay. California teams made their mark early in the NARCh Finals, and finished strong through the final weekend.
Three of the many highlights from the final weekend were the Girls/Womens Skills Competition and the 2010 NARCH Pro Division $15K/$5K Final on Saturday, and the the NCRHA (National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association) Finals on Sunday. The Womens/Girls skills competition saw the goaltenders blank a complete round of shootout attempts, and a highlight reel shootout goal that consisted of bouncing the stick off of the ground, scoring up high, then pulling out a sharpee and signing the glass. On Sunday the Western Collegiate Roller Hockey League Allstars took home the NCRHA Championship with a 3-2 win over the GPCIHL Allstars.
The main event of the weekend was the NARCh Pro Division Final between the #3 seed Tour Mudcats (Pennsylvania) and #8 seed Mission Labeda Snipers (New York) Saturday night. TM wasted no time getting on the scoresheet. Greg Thompson made an end-to-end rush for Mission, but then double backed and dumped the puck behind his own goal. On the next rush up ice, Mission’s Phil Maroon was stick-checked off the puck. TM’s C.J. Yoder took a nice feed at center rink, held off a backcheck with body position, and roofed a backhand shot farside over goaltender Mike Browne.
After a glaring non-call where one of their own forwards was slide tackled at the top of his own zone, Mission’s Pat Cannone was called for slashing at 8:32. C.J. Yoder would capitalize with his second goal of the game, assist by JP Beilstein. The Mission Labeda Snipers ramped up the intensity at the end of the first, outshooting TM 7-3 in the final minutes, but they could not put one past goaltender Brett Legget.
At the start of the second more fans filtered in around the already packed stands. Kyle Kraemer put MLS within one goal 45 seconds into the second period. In NARCh tournament hockey, teams often play twice-a-day, 4-on-4, with two 15-minute periods plus overtime if the game is tied. Mission’s Pat Cannone tied the game at 2-2 with a snap shot off the crossbar at 9:36.
The Pro Division Final looked to be headed to overtime with less than a minute to play in the period. Mission’s Greg Thompson made another end-to-end rush down the left wing, and snapped a shot on goal from the top of the faceoff circle. Trying to gain position in front of the net, MLS’s Kyle O’Kane took an interference penalty with 38 seconds left to play. The first Tour Mudcats power play opportunity narrowly missed a goal, but the second resulted in J.P. Beilstein deflecting a Chris Terry point shot for the 3-2 Finals win.
Several Mission Labeda Snipers players berated the referees after the goal, and one was kicked out of the rink after breaking his stick on the ice, but after three seconds ticked off the clock they formed a handshake line and congratulated the winners.
The NARCh event at SilverCreek was a very slick, well-oiled production. Roller Hockey skews younger than Ice Hockey, and with a DJ spinning mix tunes over the loudspeakers, modern equipment presentations, a photo center with real-time imagery, restaurants, free wifi, and a crush of interactive media coverage, there was a lot to engage hockey players, parents and fans at the venue.
For more information visit NARCh.com, or the NARCh blogs, facebook and youtube pages. There may be an upcoming broadcast of the NARCh Pro Final on Universal Sports, will confirm that via twitter when possible.
[Update2] Box score:
NARCh 2010 North American Rollerhockey Championships
Pro Division Final
July 31st, 2010 – SilverCreek Sportsplex, San Jose
Tour Mudcats 3 (#3 seed)
Mission Labeda Snipers 2 (#8 seed)
Scoring: 1st – TM Yoder 2:27 (Yingling), PP TM Yoder 9:26. 2nd – MLS Kraemer 0:45, MLS Cannone 9:36 (Maroon), PP TM Beilstein 14:57 (Terry).
Penalties: 1st – MLS Cannone 8:32 (slashing). 2nd – Seibel 1:24 (tripping), O’Kane 14:22 (interference).
Goaltenders: TM Brett Legget (8s, 10sog), MLS Mike Browne (10s-13sog)