The NorCal Extreme Hockey Club had three teams competing at the North American Roller Hockey Championships Winternationals event last weekend in San Jose.
The NorCal 14U squad was dominating in round-robin play, topping the Anaheim Junior Ducks (3-0), the Silicon Valley Quakes (6-0) and the SoCal Notion (6-0) before falling to the Hockey House Army from Canada, 3-1. Extreme goals in the four games were scored by Joe Blakewell, Miguel Witham, Michael Cognetti, Noah Bristow and Sam Blakewell, while Brandon Pacciorini recorded an assist. Max Landy anchored the strong defense in front of goalie Nicholas Leacox, who let in only three goals.
The locals’ 3-1 record put them in the Gold Division of the playoffs, but after falling behind by three goals to Team Elite, NorCal’s comeback effort wasn’t quite enough. Despite scoring twice in the final 40 seconds, the Extreme lost 4-3.
The NorCal Extreme 16U team competed with a young roster and came up just short in three round-robin contests against veteran squads. But after losing to Team Elite (4-2), the Huntington Beach Raiders (3-2) and the Hawaii Kiha Warriors (3-2), the locals finished with a bang, blowing away the Valley Thunder Rats, 8-0.
Throughout the tournament, NorCal goals came from Danny Kumata, Tyler Schaffer, Caleb Hermle, Ricky Pacciorini and Joe Blakewell, with Ryan Kowta and Dalton Byard each recording assists. In addition, Henry Campbell applied steady offensive pressure for the Extreme while goalie Nicholas Leacox saved 84 percent of the shots he saw.
Skating as the Saxons, the locals played their usual fast-paced offense despite absorbing crunching blows from opposing defenses. The Saxons won 3-2 matchups over Chico, Silicon Valley and the Anaheim Junior Ducks before suffering a setback against the Corona Revision Vanquish.
In the playoffs, the locals narrowly missed in their rematch with the Quakes dropping a 2-1 decision. Saxon goals were scored by Caleb Hermle, Paul Hermle, Jacob Muller, Danny Kumata and Joe Blakewell. Brian Varley added three assists for the locals, who saw Brian Sachieur put good pressure on the opposition’s goal. Keeper Eddie Berlin accumulated a 93 percent save rate for the tournament.