View Full Version : Live Coverage of the NIHA-Canada National Championships
07-13-2007, 02:44 PM
I'm here in Sherwood Park, near Edmonton, Alberta, for the NIHA-Canada National Championships.
Millennium Place, the venue for the event is very impressive. On the way to the rinks from the hotel, you pass a huge pool area that is packed with kids and adults; a child-care room; a large dining area with a sushi bar, sandwich grill, coffee shop, and soft drink and snack machines; and a "Millennium Sports Wall of Recognition" full of poster-sized photos of famous Sherwood Park athletes, including National Hockey league players Ray Whitney and Gerald Diduck.
It's kind of neat to see people working out on second-floor exercise bikes while watching the inline hockey action below.
The rinks are utilizing Rhino Courts flooring, and the slate-gray color chosen for the tournament is one that I haven't seen before.
The tournament just started, and there will be many more updates are on the way.
For previous coverage of this event, please see:
07-13-2007, 05:08 PM
The atmosphere here at Millennium Place is pretty exciting. The loudest cheering section so far seems to be from Manitoba -- the shouts and whistles and screams echo throughout the arena.
Glenn Buffie, NIHA-Canada's representative for Manitoba, said, "This is our NARCh."
"It's their Olympics," added Scott Hill, NIHA-Canada's vice-president. Hill, who runs the Langley Sportsplex in British Columbia. "A lot of kids in rec leagues in Canada don't know about NARCh, and this is their big event."
Hill says that inline game is strong in British Columbia.
"BC is pretty stable. We've gained a little bit in the last year or so, and have maintained steady numbers in the last four years. We're not seeing a lot of new leagues pop up, but the existing leagues are strong."
One of the booths at the event is run by SDI Digital Imaging, a company that photographs events and sells the resulting shots to the players in many specialty formats -- magazine covers, wall clocks, mousepads, clipboards, messenger bags, coffee mugs and more. The company is out of St. Albert, Alberta, about half an hour away from Millennium Place, and has been in business for seven years.
Photos below, left to right: The Lancombe Rednecks, SDI Digital Imaging, event banners
07-13-2007, 07:57 PM
It's fun to watch the younger divisions at the NIHA-Canada Nationals, because you notice that size is not an important factor. Some of the smallest players have the greatest speed, maneuverability and quickness. One youngster on Team Manitoba's Peewee team seemed tiny next to many of the other players on the rink, but he zipped around and got the job done.
The playing format is two stop-time, 15-minute halves. Both inline rinks in this facility are brightly lit, with long rows of seating for spectators. Each team has to play one game at the Sherwood Park Arena because Millennium Place opted not to cover one of their ice rinks with a third inline floor.
No games were scheduled to start before 10 a.m. or after 10 p.m., one of the benefits of a tournament of this size.
I've seen two games in which one team was down two men with just minutes to go in a tight game, and both times, the shorthanded team was able to keep their opponent off the board.
The late and lamented Roller Hockey International's lingering influence can be seen in the jerseys of one Sherwood Park team -- the Bullfrogs. Yep, the same design as the Anaheim Bullfrogs of RHI.
For teams that get down 7-0 and 8-0, it must be very demoralizing -- in two ways. One is that teams with such leads often rag the puck and play keep away. The other is just being that far out of a game. At this event, a maximum score differential of eight goals is shown on the scoreboard. If a team goes ahead by nine or more goals, the goals will be recorded on the game sheet but not on the scoreboard. A maximum differential of eight goals are recorded in the standings. Seems like a good way to keep raging frustration at bay.
Shot below: NIHA-Canada's Promotions & Marketing Coordinator Marty Alexander.
07-13-2007, 08:11 PM
Here are the scores so far. The numerals signify the game number:
Mission NS Strike Force 9, Team Manitoba 4
NS Zulu4, SP Bullfrogs SR 5
Team Manitoba 11, Rockyview Devils 3
SP Bullfrogs JR 3, Eagleridge 9
Lacombe Rednecks 3, Manitoba Braves 6
NS Zulu 0, Red Deer Snipers Sr. 8
Team Manitoba 3, Red Deer Snipers 91, 8
Team Manitoba 2, Ponoka Mustangs 4
NS Zulu 9, Red Deer 2
SP A Team 5, Eagleridge 8
Red Deer Canyon Cougars 6, SP Bullfrogs 6
SP Bullfrogs 6, Team Saskatchewan 6
Gladiators 3, Team Manitoba 3
Manitoba Gold 3, Mission NS Strike Force 8
NS Zulu 8, SP Bullfrogs JR 0
Rockyview Devils 2, Team Saskatchewan 6
SP Bullfrogs SR 3, Team Manitoba 4
Red Deer Snipers 91 2, Lacombe Rednecks 6
07-14-2007, 02:33 PM
OK, I'm back at the computer at the NIHA-Canada National Championships. I had been "volunteered" for a couple of functions this morning -- announcing the fastest-skater, breakaway scorer and best goaltender competitions in the 10 & U and 14 & U age divisions, and giving a little speech to the crowd about Canada's history in inline hockey.
The skills competitions were a lot of fun. Some of the moves the players made on the breakaways were impressive, as were some of the stellar saves made by goaltenders. The older divisions are going through their skills competition right now -- I'll post all the results when everything has been wrapped up.
After that, there was a game between two teams of 4-, 5- and 6-year-old players in NIHA-Canada's Tadpoles program, and that was a lot of fun to watch.
The welcoming ceremony was emceed by NIHA-Canada President Kevin Sharp, who is also the provincial coordinator for Hockey Alberta InLine. Sharp mentioned that this event is the sixth NIHA-Canada National Championships
The inaugural version of this tournament was held in Chestermere, Alberta, in 2002. Subsequent events were held in Winnipeg in 2003 and again in 2006, in Calgary in 2004, and in Langley, British Columbia in 2005.
NIHA is the official governing body of inline hockey in Canada as recognized by Hockey Canada and USA Hockey. The organization intends to foster and promote the growth and development of inline hockey across Canada at all levels, from grassroots to the elite.
One of NIHA?s major activities is to annually host a championship tournament where some of the top club teams from each provincial branch of NIHA can compete for national bragging rights in the 10 & Under to 18 & Under divisions. NIHA presently has full-time provincial branches in Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, and Ontario, and Quebec has recently joined as an associate member. NIHA is governed by a volunteer executive with representation from all full-member provincial branches.
NIHA-Canada's executive committee members include Vice President Scott Hill of British Columbia, Secretary Bonnie Burnside (BC), Treasurer Ron Van Walleghem of Manitoba, Promotions & Marketing Coordinator Marty Alexander of Alberta, Referee-in-Chief Dan Duffy (AB), and Directors Glenn Buffie (MB), Rob Baustad (AB), Art Farrugia of Ontario and Devon Cranson (ON).
At the national championship, each provincial branch has had the option to send up to two teams per age group division and the host branch is allowed to enter up to three teams. The NIHA executive also reserves the right to invite teams from provinces that presently don?t have a NIHA presence.
For this year?s event, Alberta entered 14 teams, Manitoba entered seven and British Columbia entered five. NIHA-Canada also invited two teams from Saskatchewan.
Jaye Salisbury, the local host committee chairperson representing the Sherwood Park Inline Hockey League spoke after Kevin Sharp, who introduced the members of the host committee: Juliette Sharp, Julie Wright, Denis Painchaud, Charlene Hutton, Corrinnia Cowan, Nelson LaPerle and Shauna Kerckhof.
After my short presentation, Allison Herder sang the Canadian national anthem, and NIHA-Canada's Referee-in-Chief Dan Duffy and I dropped ceremonial pucks to help "officially" open the event.
Tonight at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., I've also been "volunteered" ;) to give a PowerPoint presentation on ?The Origins and Evolution of Inline Hockey? for anyone who wants to attend.
Now it's time to get back to the rink and actually watch some games. I'll be back!
07-14-2007, 02:43 PM
Here are the remainder of the scores from yesterday's competition:
Team Manitoba 0, NS Zulu 8
Red Deer Snipers Sr. 6, Team Manitoba 3
Ponoka Mustangs 5, Team Saskatchewan 8
Manitoba Braves 3, NS Zulu 3
Red Deer 6, SP Bullfrogs 3
SP Bullfrogs 8, Manitoba Gold 3
Team Manitoba 0, Red Deer Canyon Cougars 8
Eagleridge 5, Team Saskatchewan 2
Eagleridge 9, Team Manitoba 1
Red Deer Snipers 91 6, NS Zulu5
SP A Team 11, Gladiators 3
Team Manitoba 1, Lacombe Rednecks 4
Red Deer Snipers Sr. 6, Manitoba Braves 7
More scores to come soon.
07-14-2007, 03:10 PM
Photos below, from left to right:
NIHA-Canada tournament banner
Sherwood Park Bullfrogs player
Hockey Alberta inflatable
Hockey Dad T-shirt
Sign on door at entrance to rinks!
07-14-2007, 03:14 PM
Photos below, from left to right:
North Shore logo
Red Deer Gladiators
Skills Clinic snapshot
Team Manitoba logo
07-15-2007, 12:28 PM
Trying to catch up here after giving a Power Point presentation on inline hockey last night and watching gold and bronze-medal games this morning. I'll do some game write-ups later, but for now, here are the results of yesterday's skill competitions:
Mite/Peewee Skills Competition Results
Mite Fastest Skater Liam Smith, NS Zulu (BC)
Mite Sniper Eric Smith, SP Bullfrogs (AB)
Mite Goalie Brody Niezen, SP Bullfrogs (AB)
Peewee Fastest Skater Nathan Dennis, Red Deer Canyon Cougars (AB)
Peewee Sniper Cole Sonstlic, Red Deer Canyon Cougars (AB)
Peewee Goalie Landon Rodgers, Red Deer Canyon Cougars (AB)
Squirt/Bantam/Midget Skills Competition Results
Squirt Fastest Skater Michael Hoy, NS Zulu (BC)
Squirt Sniper Clayton Carson, Eagleridge (BC)
Squirt Goalie Jesse Sidaway, Eagleridge (BC)
Bantam Fastest Skater Andy Williams, Lacome Rednecks (AB)
Bantam Sniper Cody Cartier, Red Deer Snipers SR (AB)
Bantam Goalie Landon Schmidt, Red Deer Snipers SR (AB)
Midget Fastest Skater Mark Stinson, Eagleridge (BC)
Midget Sniper Jordan Draper, SP A Team, (AB)
Midget Goalie Tim Hykaway, Team Manitoba (MB)
07-15-2007, 12:48 PM
Here are some more of yesterday's game scores from the event:
Team Saskatchewan 2, NS Zulu 9
Eagleridge 11, Team Manitoba 3
Rockyview Devils 3, NS Zulu 11
Red Deer Canyon Cougars 10, Mission NS Strike Force 5
SP Bullfrogs 9, Team Manitoba 1
Red Deer 6, Team Manitoba 3
Ponoka Mustangs 4, SP Bullfrogs 0
Gladiators 0, Eagleridge 6
SP Bullfrogs JR 8, Rockyview Devils 5
Team Saskatchewan 1, SP Bullfrogs SR 5
Team Manitoba 7, SP A Team 7
NS Zulu 9, Team Manitoba 2
Manitoba Gold 4, Red Deer Canyon Cougars 12
NS Zulu 5, Ponoka Mustangs 1
SP Bullfrogs 4, Team Manitoba 3
Team Saskatchewan 10, Red Deer 7
SP Bullfrogs SR 3, Eagleridge 3
Team Saskatchewan 3, SP Bullfrogs JR 4
Team Manitoba 3, NS Zulu 7
Team Manitoba 7, Manitoba Gold 9
(1st seed) Eagleridge 7, (4th seed) Gladiators 2
Mission NS Strike Force 1, SP Bullfrogs 6
(2nd seed) SP A Team 6, (3rd seed) Team Manitoba 3
Manitoba Braves 3, Red Deer Snipers 91 1
Lacombe Rednecks 2, Red Deer Snipers Sr. 5
(1st seed) NS Zulu 8 (4th seed) Red Deer Snipers 2
(2nd seed) Team Saskatchewan 5, 3rd Ponoka Mustangs 4
(1st seed) Eagleridge 11, (4th seed) Team Manitoba 3
(2nd seed) NS Zulu 6, 3rd SP Bullfrogs SR 3
(1st seed) SP Bullfrogs 7, (4th seed) Manitoba Gold 2
(2nd seed) Red Deer Canyon Cougars 11, (3rd seed) Mission NS Strike Force 4
(1st seed) Manitoba Braves 6, (4th seed) Red Deer Snipers 91 4
(2nd seed) Red Deer Snipers Sr 9, (3rd seed) Lacombe Rednecks 1
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