With Winternationals in rearview mirror, NARCh Finals set to roll this summer in Irvine
The 2022 NARCh season is scheduled to come to a close with the annual NARCh Finals July 8-17 at The Rinks Irvine Inline and the Pacific Cup Finals Aug. 26-28 at the same location.
It’s been a return to a much more normal and robust schedule that has included many more regional events to satisfy interest in the tournament series, which remains high.
The 2022 NARCh season faced off with the 132-team Winternationals event Jan. 14-17 in Irvine. Championship medals were handed out in 23 sub-divisions along with individual high scorer and top goaltender awards by division.
Adult teams continued to make NARCh a destination event to face off the 2022 season. Seventy-three teams – or more than half of the total field — competed in eight 21-older divisions, including 38 men’s division teams (22 alone in the Silver Division).
Seven teams participated in the NARCh Pro Division while 10 women’s division teams were on board. International teams also journeyed to Southern California from Canada and Mexico.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better event to kick off the ’22 season,” NARCh president Daryn Goodwin said.
Divisions ranged from 8U through 30-older and 40-older divisions. Men’s, women’s and youth players showcased their skills to face off the new NARCh season. The 12U and 16U pools were the largest youth divisions with 12 teams each.
Division champions in the six youth age groups included the Bulldogs Blue (8U Gold), Pure Octane Hockey (8U Silver, 12U Platinum), Pure Octane Hockey Green (10U Gold), AKS (10U Silver), KIHA Warriors (12U Gold, 14U Silver), Bulldogs Black (12U Silver), Tour OC Blades Black (14U Gold), Konixx Warriors (16U Platinum, 18U Gold), PGKA (16U Gold), Labeda Mayhem (16U Silver) and Konixx Black Ice (18U Platinum).
Division runners-up among the youth age-group teams included the Raider Jets (8U Gold), Tour OC Blades (8U Silver, 16U Platinum), Bulldogs Black (10U Gold), Bulldogs Yellow (10U Silver), Tour OC Blades Black (12U Platinum), Bulldogs Blue 10 U (12U Gold), San Diego Rockets (12U Silver, 14U Silver), Pure Octane Hockey (14U Gold), Konixx Mutiny (16U Gold), PGKA Black (16U Silver), PGKA (18U Platinum) and Yuma Blaze (18U Gold).
Division champions among adult divisions teams included Unify Black Ice (21U Platinum), NCR Elite (21U Gold), Rink Rat Republic (Women’s Platinum), PGKA (Women’s Gold, 30-Over Platinum), Spray (Men’s Platinum), Westside Boyz (Men’s Gold), Pama Labeda Golden Knights (Men’s Silver), BUZZ Oregon (Men’s Bronze), Kamagraf (30-Over Gold) and California Beach Boys (40-Over).
Division runners-up among the adult division teams included Skittles (21U Platinum), Labeda Mayhem (21U Gold), Unify Black Ice (Women’s Platinum), Mavin Valkyrie (Women’s Gold), BUZZ (Men’s Platinum, 30-Over Gold), Kamagraf Mayhem (Men’s Gold), Prolifics (Men’s Silver), Rose Bowl Hockey (Men’s Bronze), Lot Dogs (30-Over Platinum) and Team Labeda (40-Over).
Individual award winners were calculated based on round-robin or pool play.
Jordan Sijher of the Raider Jets topped the 8U Division with a prodigious 5.6 points per game based on 28 points (21 goals, seven assists) in five games while Barrett Thacker of the Bulldogs Blue took home the top goaltender award with a .759 save percentage (44 saves on 58 shots faced).
Conner Hayes of Pure Octane Green topped the 10U Division with 11 goals in five games for 2.2 points per game to lead the division in scoring while teammate Devin Werbach led all goaltenders with a .912 save percentage (52 saves on 57 shots).
Evan Malinowski of the Bulldogs Blue averaged 3.0 points per game with six goals and six assists to earn high scorer honors in the 12U Division while Werbach, playing for Pure Octane Hockey, notched his second top goaltender award with an .855 save percentage (47 saves on 55 shots) while playing up an age division.
Jaxon Pang earned the high scorer award in the 14U Division with an average of 2.6 points per game (eight goals, five assists) while the tandem of Brody Massi and Landon Bullock shared the division’s top goaltender award with a scintillating .938 save percentage (45 saves on 48 shots).
Austin Sohoslay of Konixx Black Ice took home the high scorer award in the 16U Division with 10 points (four goals, six assists) for 2.5 points per game while Kat Reyes proved nearly unstoppable between the pipes with a division best .957 save percentage (45 saves on 47 shots) as the division’s top goaltender award winner.
Jacob Roberson of Konixx Black Ice spirited away the 18U Division high scorer award with 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) for an average of 3.4 points per game while PGKA’s Lucas Cespede captured the division’s top goaltender award with an .868 save percentage (59 saves on 68 shots).
Unify Black Ice claimed both top individual award winners in the 21U Division: Noah Litsko as the high scorer and Josh Henson as the top goaltender. Henson stopped 51 of 58 shots in pool play for an .879 save percentage while Litsko chalked up four goals and eight assists for a 2.4 points per game average.
Rink Rat Republic swept the top individual awards in the Women’s Division as Camille Corbin won the high scorer award with 12 points (six goal, six assists) for 2.4 points per game and Taylor Huynh posted a perfect 1.000 save percentage to earn the top goaltender award.
Farm Tough, the third-place team in the Men’s Platinum Division, reaped the top individual awards as Justin Grenby tallied six goals and 10 points to emerge as the division’s high scorer with 2.0 points per game and Henson doubled up as the division’s top goaltender with an .887 save percentage (47 saves on 53 shots).
Cameron Maycock averaged 2.3 points per game as the Men’s Gold Division high scorer while Westside Boyz teammate Josh Thompson stopped 73 of 86 shots for an .849 save percentage as the division’s top goaltender.
The Golden Knights duo of Dave Hammond (high scorer) and Silvan Brunner (top goaltender) swept the top individual awards in the Men’s Silver Division. Hammond averaged 2.7 points per game with 11 goals and five assists while Brunner recorded an .866 save percentage after stopping 58 of 67 shots directed his way.
Brian Cowell of the Redding Roadrunners captured the high scorer award in the Men’s Bronze Division with 10 goals and four assists for 2.3 points per game while Dylan Sapienza of the Boston Blizzards won the top goaltender award with an .853 save percentage (61 saves on 75 shots).
Stephen White (2.3 points per game) of the Lot Dogs and Jesse Villa (0.836 save percentage) of BUZZ were the top individual award winners in the 30-Over Division.
A pair of well-traveled names in NARCh – Dave Brito as high scorer and Tim Tobin as top goaltender – were the individual award winners in the 40-Over Division. Brito logged 2.4 points per game with nine goals and three assists while Tobin posted an .880 save percentage with 44 saves on 50 shots.
Sijher paced all division high scorers in the tournament while Huyhn led all top goaltender award-winners. Werbach (10U and 12U) and Henson (21U Platinum and Men’s Platinum) were double top goaltender award-winners.
The elite NARCh Pro Division was hard fought to start off the new year with the Golden Knights defeating Konixx, 5-2, in the championship game after skating past Unify Black Ice, 2-1, in the semifinals.
Both teams finished with 19 shots in the championship game but the Golden Knights captured a 2-1 lead in the first half and put away the game with a 3-1 scoring edge in the second half.
Travis Noe earned the high scorer award in the NARCh Pro Division with 15 points in five games (3.0 points per game average) while Troy Redmann of third place Unify Black Ice notched a .944 save percentage as the division’s top goaltender award winner.
The next NARCh event came up very quickly with the March 18-20 regional in Corona. Sixty-six teams participated, ranging from 6U through adult. Large showcase divisions included 12 teams in the both the 12U and 14U divisions and 10 teams in the Men’s Gold/Silver Division.
Division champions included Mavin Sting (6U Gold, 8U Silver), Jr. Mafia (6U Silver), Pure Octane Hockey Green (10U Gold), Bulldogs Yellow (10U Silver, 12U Silver), Labeda Jets 09 (12U Platinum), Bulldogs Blue (12U Gold), Konixx Warriors (14U Platinum), Tour Raiders HC (8U Gold, 14U Gold), High Rollers (14U Silver), 07 Mighty Ducks (16U Platinum), TRIX (16U Gold), Tour OC Blades (18U), Biscuit Balm Saucers (Men’s Gold), Esco Esqueletos (Men’s Silver) and Vanquish (Women’s).
The annual Southern California regional, held April 28 to May 1 in Irvine, included a sold-out field of 128 teams. Traditionally it is the largest regional, second only in scope to the standalone NARCh Winternationals and NARCh Finals.
It was again so this time around.
Eighteen teams participated in both the 12U and 14U divisions while 14 teams rolled onto the playing court in both the 16U and Men’s Silver/Bronze divisions. Fourteen teams were divided between the Girls 13U, Girls 19U and Women’s divisions.
Division champions included Mavin Sting (6U Gold), Lil Raiders (6U Silver), Raider Ducks (8U Gold), Tour OC Blades (8U Silver), Bulldogs Blue (10U Gold), AKS (10U Silver), Labeda Jets 09 (12U Platinum), Konixx Warriors (12U Gold), San Diego Rockets (12U Silver, 18U Platinum), Konixx Outcasts 07 (14U Platinum), Tour OC Blades Black (14U Gold), Tour Labeda Mayhem (14U Silver), Bulldogs Black (16U Platinum), Konixx Outcasts 05 (16U Gold), Skeleton Crew (16U Silver), Konixx Outcasts (18U Gold), Skittles (21U Platinum), Irezumi Samurai (21U Gold), Vanquish (13U Girls Gold, Women’s Platinum), Hi-Chew (13U Girls Silver), Pama Labeda Golden Knights (19U Girls, Women’s Gold), Spray (Men’s Platinum), Lot Dogs (Men’s Gold), White Claw Raiders HC (Men’s Silver) and Mafia (Men’s Bronze).
The Konixx Outcasts edged RinkRat, 4-3, in the NARCh Pro championship game.
The annual San Jose regional took place May 21-22 at the Plex with 40 teams.
Division champions included Pure Octane (12U Gold), Bend Bullets (12U Silver, 16U Platinum), Bend Bullets Blue (14U Gold), Warrior Revolution (14U Silver), Tour Labeda Mayhem (16U Gold), Nitrous (18U Platinum), River Rats (18U Gold), Bay Area Buzz (Men’s Platinum), BUZZ Green (Men’s Gold), Tour Labeda Mayhem Blue (Men’s Silver), Revolution (Men’s Bronze) and Nor-Cal Inline (Women’s).
Regional tournaments followed June 3-5 at the Escondido Sports Center in northern San Diego County and June 17-19 at the Pavilion in Bend, Ore.
The Escondido event attracted 49 teams in what for many Southern California- and Arizona-based squads was a final tune-up for the NARCh Finals.
Division champions included the Bulldogs (8U Gold), Tour OC Blades (8U Silver), Bulldogs Black (10U Gold, 16U Gold), SD Inline (10U Silver), Bulldogs Yellow (12U Gold), Bulldogs Blue 10U (12U Silver), Tour OC Blades Black (14U Gold), Tour OC Blades Red (14U Silver), Konixx Outcasts (16U Silver), San Diego Rockets (18U), Mavin (Men’s Platinum), Billy’s Salt Kings (Men’s Gold), BabyBel (Men’s Silver) and Peoria Ignite (Men’s Bronze).
The Oregon regional, surrounded by beautiful scenery and outdoor vacation amenities, included seven age-groups and 42 games spread over three days. Oregon-based teams cleaned up with eight division championships, including four each by Reign and Bullets squads. NCI Phoenix won the Men’s Silver Division.
Other regional tournaments throughout the regular season took place in Colorado and Pennsylvania.
The Big Show
A healthy field of 241 teams is set for the upcoming NARCh Finals, including an expanded list of international teams from Canada, Mexico, France and Spain and the UK. The tournament series continues to draw from its long roots with 103 adult teams signed up.
Goodwin is excited about several aspects of this year’s showpiece event that features 655 games over 10 days.
The girls and women’s divisions continue to grow with 26 teams competing in these divisions at the upcoming NARCh Finals, he noted.
“There are also more girls playing in the youth boys divisions than ever before,” Goodwin said. “Due to this, and the increased talent we’ve seen recently at the highest level, we’ve decided to offer prize money and have a Women’s Pro Division – $3,000 will go to the winning team at the NARCh Finals. The young girls in roller hockey should have a Pro Division to aspire to play in just like the boys do.”
The skills competition will remain a highlight of the NARCh Finals. For information on live scores and streaming possibilities, visit the website at www.narch.com.
Pacific Cup standings
The tournament series is in its second season following a restart in 2020-21 while successfully weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. Three regular season events have been held so far in 2021-22.
Teams receive six points for each win and three points for each tie, and five additional points for first place overall in each tournament. Teams receive five additional points for participating out or region and three points for just participating.
The Mavin Sting led the 6U Division with 12 points while the Tour Raiders paced the 10U Division with 59 points, followed by AKS Black with 36 points and the SD Rockets with 35 points. The Konixx Warriors led the 16U Division with 35 points.
Adult teams are also participating. The Women’s Division standings featured Women’s Roller Hockey in first place with 35 points, followed closely by the Jets (23 points) and Tour Aztecs (18 points) while the Men’s Platinum Division was even more competitive with the Outcasts and Skittles in front with 35 points apiece, followed by the Spray with 24 points.
The Men’s Gold/Silver Division featured the Prolifics in first place with 55 points, followed by the Impact Coyotes with 29 points and the Biscuit Balm Saucers and White Claw Raiders with 24 points each.
For more information, visit www.thepacificcup.com.
— Phillip Brents
(June 29, 2022)