Outcasts 92′s take it all at 2011 NARCh Winter Nationals!!!

MLK weekend 2011 was a great weekend to be a ’92 Outcasts player. The 2011 NARCh Winter Nationals was the official kickoff for the second year Midget ’92 Outcasts. The core of the team, having been together since 2007, had seen their share of success and disappointments since winning the 2007 Pacific Cup 14AAA title their first year together. Their roster has seen a host of Arizona talent, as well as those from all over the US. Going into their last year of Midget hockey, the core group turned to the best players they knew to strengthen the team; their competition. The two teams regionally that always played them closest were AKS 92’s and Nor Cal Riot, so when Riot scoring threat Ryan Newens contacted some of the 92’s looking for a team the pieces began to come together. From there news of the disbandment of the AKS 92’s (due to players moving on to college and other activities) opened a door to approach Drew Yeoman and Ray Mesa who both had been strong competitors against the 92’s over the years. Added to the lineup was also Colorado’s Garth Penman and goalie Kevin Dwyer. Together that gave the existing four 92 Outcasts players; Tommy Tuohy, Nick Bazso, Mike Rivera, Paul Linder, a solid second line and a real chance at making 2011 “their season”.

The 92′s breezed through their 3 round robin games easily handling the Mission Rampage 7-0 in their only game Saturday, then on to a 4-1 win over the Alpha Dogs and an 8-0 mercy of the Silicon Valley Quakes on Sunday. The 3 wins with only one goal against gave the 92′s the first overall seed in the 15 team midget division. That first seed would match up against the winner of Saturday nights playoff game. That game ended up producing the Bauer Riot in a last minute comeback victory against the Pama Cyclones. The semi final game Monday afternoon saw a rested Outcasts 92′s control the majority of the game and hold a comfortable 2 goal lead for the early part of it. A bad timed double minor would allow the Riot to jump back in with two power play goals in the middle of the second. Both teams would score another full strength goal and cause the game to go to sudden death OT to find a winner. Ironically it was the same player who took the initial double minor penalty (Garth Penman) who would put the puck away in that over time and bring the 92′s to the championship game later that afternoon.

The other semi final game matched up the Alpha Dogs and Mission Rink Rat CA which resulted in a 7-2 thrashing of the Alpha Dogs securing Mission Rink Rat CA a chance to challenge the Outcasts 92′s for the 2011 NARCh Winter Nationals Midget Division Championship. Much like the semi final game, the Outcasts 92′s controlled the game from the drop of the puck forward. The big difference in this game would be stellar goal tending being played by Mission Rink Rat CA’s goalie. With just under 18 shots in the first period alone, the 92′s were held to just two goalsby the mid game mark. Going into the second period the Outcasts 92′s would once again control the puck and look for a crack in the Rink Rat goalie that wouldn’t seem to appear. Late in the period Rink Rat CA was able to get one passed Dwyer putting them in the game. That goal was followed by another with just under a minute left to play in the game, pushing the Outcasts 92′s into their second over time game of the day.

The mood on the Outcasts 92′s bench was confident and cool; this game was theirs to win. Patience and persistence was all that was needed to hoist the cup. Just like the two periods before, the 92′s started OT out with multiple scoring chances only to be thwarted once again by the goalie on the other end. It would eventually take defense man Drew Yoeman jumping into the offensive play down low, to create the added offense needed to get the final opportunity to score and win the game in OT!

With a 3-2 OT victory, the Outcasts 92′s were awarded the 2011 NARCh Winter Nationals Midget Division Gold Medal and Cup. Outcasts 92′s goalie Kevin Dwyer would be named the divisions top goalie as well.

This Winter Nationals win is just the beginning for the 92′s who hope to continue their winning streak all the through the season and into the Midget Platinum championship game at the 2011 NARCh finals in Estero, FL this summer!

Also in attendance at the 2011 Winter Nationals were the Outcasts 93′s who featured returning players; Kevin Smith, Zach Burke, Jake Kockrow, Noah Cullen, and Brennan Sowa. The combination ’93/’94 team also competed in the same midget division as the 92′s going 2-1 in round robin placing themselves in the #4 overall seed going into play offs. It was there that their tournament ended with a 5-2 loss to the Alpha Dogs. All in all a great showing for a team who was thrown together to give the continuing Outcasts 93/94′s a chance to get some early exposure to the upcoming season’s teams.

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