Playing Up

Last weekend’s WIHA roller hockey tournament in Irvine brings us a lesson in hubris . . .

Give Blood Play Hockey tournament

My kid plays for Revision Devil Dogs, a 16U AA team. Unfortunately, the 16U teams showing up for WIHA tournaments this season haven’t been providing a lot of competition for the boys so they’ve played up the last couple of tournaments in the 18U AA division.

In this one, they found themselves in a situation where if they won their fourth and final round-robin game against AKS by at least two goals, they’d finish in a three-way tie for second and would, based on a complex tie-break formula including goals against, get to play in the final.

A Devil Dog loss, tie or even a one-goal victory would put AKS in the final.

AKS is a good team. They beat the Devil Dogs easily in a tournament in February and seemed to be clowning around the whole time. I’m sure they gave zero thought to the possibility of losing this game.

The AKS coach obviously hadn’t bothered to work through the tie-break scenario because after coming back from 5-2 down to 5-4, he pulled his goalie with about a minute left in the game, allowing a Devil Dog player to score an empty-net goal with 11 seconds left and knock AKS out of the final with a 6-4 win.

The Dogs lost the final 2-1 to top-seeded Reebok HB — still a good result for playing up in a higher age bracket.

Next up: NARCh regional qualifier in two weeks.

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