The ice hockey season is officially over and Inline hockey play has begun, ushered in by the 2Hot4Ice Atlanta Regional tournament held in Georgia at Dual Decks Arena in Snellville.
The tournament which ran from Friday April 13th to Sunday,April 15th pitted several AAA and AA level inline teams against each other from cities such as Savannah, Georgia, Charlotte, North Carolina and from as far away as Mississippi for the opportunity to advance to the Nationals which this year will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina.
In all,almost 90 youth teams visited Snellville for the Regional tournament said Tim Gaines, who coordinates the event through SGAA. ( South Georgia Athletic Association)
2Hot4ice held other Regional tournaments in Detroit, New Jersey, and Colorado. Several teams from all over the southern region competed and many of the youth players also participate in ice hockey programs in the fall season.
One of the most interesting games was the Sunday final 12u contest between the Atlanta based Maniacs led by Coaches Milo Davis and Rob Carter and the Atlanta based Gwinnett Jr. Gladiators.
The Maniacs 12u squad was put together shortly before the tournament started and had little opportunity to jell.
The Roster comprised of Dylan Sampsell, Collyn Sampsell , Justyn Sampsell ( triplets) , Reese Fleming, Will Harris, Jordan Carter, Jaiden Wild, Jonathan Shaw, and Kaden Garwood initially fooled their competition about their abilities by displaying all of the signs of unfamiliarity (and no practice), but by the playoff rounds transformed miraculously into a different team.
Led by goaltender Justyn Samsell, Jordan Carter and Jonathan Shaw in the final game the Maniacs forced the favored Gwinnett Jr. Gladiator team to cancel their airline flights to Raleigh for the National tournament.
Carter finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists and Shaw ended up with 2 goals and 1 assist to lead the scoring.
One of the most gratifying side notes of the finals win was the thrashing the Maniacs took against the Gladiators in the beginnng matchup game losing the first contest 7-2 before coming back and winning in the finals 4-3.