Prescott up next to ‘see memories made’ in IHAAZ play
Prescott is up next to host an IHAAZ festival and the president of the Prescott Storm, Nick Paris, is looking forward to the opportunity.
The festival takes place April 20-22.
“It’s an honor to host a festival in Prescott with some of the best inline youth hockey programs around,” Paris said. “We have been meeting often as a board to make sure we are preparing for every detail of the festival, including a variety of food, raffles, amenities for our referees, custom T-shirts, various vendors and fun for the whole family.”
A lot goes into preparing for a festival, whether it’s making sure there are enough vendors and raffles to ensuring there are enough parent volunteers for things such as scorekeeping.
“Our goal at the Prescott Youth Hockey Association is to see happy hockey players and families,” Paris said. “Win or lose, we want to see the kids have smiles on their faces and see memories made at the festival.”
With the end of the season drawing closer, Paris knows every team will be eager to be at its best.
“We are towards the end of the season and I am looking forward to seeing how the teams push themselves as we get closer to state finals,” Paris said. “We’re looking forward to an awesome weekend of hockey, fun and family.”
Tucson hosted the last festival in March and there was plenty of excitement at Tucson Indoor Sports the weekend of March 16-18.
In the 8U division, the Knighthawks finished first while Prescott came away with a second-place finish. The Knighthawks won three games in the tourney, including two by mercy rule.
The Knighthawks came out on top in the 10U division as well, extending their win streak to 16 games. The Jr. Wildcats placed second. The two teams have duked it out all season, but the Jr. Wildcats have yet to find a way to shut down the Knighthawks.
In the 12U division, the Jr. Wildcats remain the team to beat, coming out of the festival with a nine-point lead over the Knighthawks in the standings. They have tallied 33 points and have handed the Knighthawks all four of their losses.
The 14U division belongs to the AZ Royals, who won three games in the tournament and have a 17-point lead in the standings over the Jr. Wildcats. The Royals have yet to lose a game this season but were taken to overtime by the Yuma Blaze in a 2-1 win at the festival. The Blaze is in third in the standings.
In the Midget division, the Yuma Blaze Black lead the way, winning all of its games at the latest festival. Among the wins was a 6-5 overtime victory over the AZ Royals White. Yuma has yet to lose a game this season. The Royals White could still win the division title, but need a little help. It has to win its final three games of the regular season in Prescott and then hope Yuma loses at least twice in the festival and manages only an overtime win at best in Prescott.
Jr. Wildcats president Erik Dahl was pleased with how the festival played out in Tucson.
“We feel that our home tournament was a huge success,” Dahl said. “We tried some new things like printing tournament programs with the team rosters and schedule in them to get the audience more involved.”
Dahl said the program got the families involved in jobs like tidying up the rink, painting and cleaning throughout the facility. Those efforts helped create home rink pride among the players and families in Tucson.
“Our players enjoyed the opportunity to showcase our rink to the other clubs and play in front of our friends who came to watch,” Dahl said.
— Brian Lester
(April 20, 2018)