Phoenix NCHL Draft Tournament November 2014

Sat 8th, (Game #1) 2 Goals & 1 Assist
@ 9:40am, Scottsdale Ice Den Arena - Doc Hollidays vs. Jesse James (W 8-5) My first goal I was standing at the side of the net and the puck came loose and I swiped at the puck a couple times going against their player and I used persistence. My second goal was the same thing only I was standing in front of the net and lots of sticks were going for the puck only I came through. My assist I passed it over to out winger who made a nice move to score. Our team was down by three goals after the first period. We Played really well in the second and even better in the third period. The pace was fairly quick.

Sat 8th, (Game #2)
@ 12:00pm, Scottsdale Ice Den Arena - Doc Hollidays vs. The Wyatt Earps (L 2-1) Not a word of a lie I won all but two face offs in the game as I was in the zone. The first period it was pretty even. The second and third period I would say we had the better of the play. Our defence was great. We had a lot of great scoring chances but their goalie was the difference in the game, a young 18 year old from Junior A now living in Phoenix for college, he was filling in for their normal goalie for just Saturday.

Sat 8th, (Game #3) 3 Assists
@ 2:20pm, Scottsdale Ice Den Arena - Doc Hollidays vs. The Billy The Kids (W 10-5) My first assist I passed it around my own zone and it went to our winger and they got it to the other winger on our line and he scored. My second assist I passed it to our winger and he scored. My third assist I won the face off in their zone straight back to our Defence Men who took a big slap shot. The big difference in this game was how our Defence either carried the puck into their zone or made a good outlet pass to a streaking forward. We out played them.

Sun 9th, (Game #4) (Semi Finals)
@ 8:00am, Scottsdale Ice Den Arena - Doc Hollidays vs. Jesse James (W 2-1) We were the second place team and they were the third place team. This was a fast paced game. It was very evenly matched as there was some good end to end plays resulting in good chances. The stage belonged to both goalies as they made some great saves along the way. I was head to head against their player and a former WHL one at that, he beat me on most face offs and in the third period with fifteen seconds left I tied him up on the draw as I dug in deep and used all my power.

Sun 9th, (Game #5) (A Finals) 3 Goals
@ 10:45am, Scottsdale Ice Den Arena - Doc Hollidays vs. The Billy The Kids (W 8-3) This was the winner's of the Semi Finals. My first goal I got a perfect pass out front from my winger and I tipped it in. My second and the Game Winning Goal the puck was cleared by their defence men from behind the net and it hit a player along the boards and bounced to me, we were all skating back and then I spun around and took a one time slap shot off the turn over and it went top corner as I fell to the ice, It was a perfect shot. My third goal was a easy tap in as my winger gave a pass to me. We jumped out to a four nothing lead and looked like we were going to run away with it. The second period they came back and played really hard and their goalie made great saves. By the time the third period rolled around we were just too much for them as our entire team played so hard to win. We won the championship. Prompting us to play our theme song we played in the dressing room every time we won "All I Do Is Win"   

Recap of the Tournament
This was my first ever hockey tournament. I had 5 games played finished with 5 Goals and 4 assists for 9 points Scoring leaders, I was 9th It was put on by the Non Contact Hockey League and league I play in Edmonton (This was a much faster pace of hockey than my current division for this winter season). The way it works, they do a draft party the night before to pick the teams (I did not go because I was coming down with a cold and wanted to sleep) They look at each players skill set and make it as even as they can based on what the player entered their skill level at, so every team had two to three players that played as high as WHL or Junior A, Then guys that played house league and down to players such as myself that just started to play organized hockey as an adult. You don't have to play in the NCHL as it is open to any player from anywhere and any league they play in. They use NCHL rules. The registration fee included two nights at the Scottsdale Marriott at Mcdowell Mountains and I was able to walk to the rink each day as it was a twenty minute walk. It also included a ticket to the Arizona Coyotes vs. New York Islanders game, Arizona lost 1-0. The rink was modern and really nice. The beer was in 710ml cans. After the game some fans stay for two hours to shop as the arena is open and outside they have live music and things to do. It was great to see this along with the young kids on the ice after our games. I went with my best friend Howard C and I played against him in Game #1 and #4. I played lots of soccer tournaments when I was younger and had fun but wow as an adult I had such a great time and it reminded me of all those times as a kid. The team I played on was a great group of guys just out to play hockey and have fun. The camaraderie between players was great. The only bad thing was when I left there it was 28 deg c and when I got home it was -14 deg c and snowing. I would recommend this or one of the other tournaments they put on and they can be found here Draft Tournament Thanks to the guys at the NCHL that organized this and most of all made it happen.

Just outside the Scottsdale Ice Den Arena

Top Row L to R - Arnie M, Tiff M, Matt D, Me, Sammy S.
Bottom Row L to R - Roman L, Chris N, TJ C, Mike K, Eric R and the goalie.

 Me post game.

 Arizona Coyotes vs. New York Islanders


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