Cool Cats Have Busy Columbus Day Weekend
Article by Chasta Piatakovas with assist by Laura Brawley
Over the Columbus Day weekend, the Cool Cats, teamed with the Montgomery Cheetahs, participated in the New Jersey DareDevils’ “Frankenfest” Hockey Tournament at Richard Codey Arena in West Orange, NJ, Sat. and Sun., Oct. 10 and 11, and while back at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, the 16 Cool Cats faced the Montgomery Cheetahs on Sat.
At Frankenfest, the 10 Cool Cats players played three good games, playing against and meeting other special hockey players from along the northeast corridor.
The roster included the Blue Line (forwards Colin B., John B., Michael D., Scott B., and defenseman Christopher G., the Orange Line (forwards Burke L., Robby C., Samuel D., and defenseman Jason S.); and the Cheetah Line (Adam, Benjamin, David, Elias, Maurice, and Pat (Cheetah Line). Coot Cats Ted C. goaltended.
The Cool Cats/Cheetahs faced the relatively new Woodbridge Wolfpack in the first game, which was action-packed. The NOVA team battled against a very skilled Wolfpack player. All the players had a good time, much to the satisfaction of Coach Randy, who tries to infect the Cool Cats with the hockey virus—the main symptom is the constant desire to play hockey each week.
The Cool Cats/Cheetahs vs. Wolfpack game ended in a 5-5 tie with a few goals waved off for various unusual reasons unknown to the coaching staff, and a few penalty shots. Goaltender Ted C. had a great tournament in net for the Cool Cats with several good saves. Amusingly enough though, Ted and Michael tried to play “musical goalies,” but Coach Randy sent Ted back in net—Ted went back between the pipes with a smile.
In the second game, the Cool Cats/Cheetahs played the tournament’s hosts, the NJ DareDevils, which the Cool Cats/Cheetahs won 8-2. During the game, the Cool Cats worked on passing and positioning. Coach Lucia made circles on the ice so the players knew exactly where they needed to stand. The players practiced teamwork, impressing the coaches with their progress—proving that they are both special and normal all the same—but one player demonstrated that he needed hockey discipline as he would not stop at the buzzer and for the referee’s whistle, and he thought it was funny to skate and shoot on his goalie. Appreciatively, he learned his lesson when he had to sit a shift because in his next shift he scored a nice goal by carrying the puck into the zone and putting the puck pass the goalie. The team gave him a high-five when he came to the bench. The fans, as well as the player’s uncle who lives in the area, excitedly cheered him [several Cool Cats players had local family members at the game.
The All Stars—comprised New Jersey Avalanche, Philadelphia Fearless Flyers, Boston Bear Cubs, and Albany Cougars—played against the Cool Cats/Cheetahs in the third game, which ended in a 9-7 loss. The All Stars had a good goalie. Forward Scott B. had five goals, but with his splendid play he could have easily scored twice as many. During the game it was challenging for the Cool Cats to compete with the All Stars’ more skilled lines, but in the end it was also very rewarding because the Cool Cats had some good competition to build their skills for future games.
Overall, the Cool Cats played all three games well. Some players took the losses hard, but by the next day they were all right.
Mark B. organized a team dinner on Sat. night at The Famished Frog with over 30 players and family members. The team bonded and learned a lot about each other over excellent food. Coach Randy especially loved the flamed broiled ribs, but he also valued that his team had a great tournament.
The DareDevils expect to host the “Frankenfest” Hockey Tournament annually over Columbus Day weekend. The Cool Cats look forward to participating in the tournament because it will bring together Cool Cats families to revel in hockey and not the reality of everyday life. The Frankenfest is a fairly short drive from Northern Virginia and several players have family near the Richard Codey Arena in West Orange, NJ.
Back on the home front, while some Cool Cats played at the tournament, the Cool Cats’ C Team played the Montgomery Cheetahs on Sat., Oct. 10 at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. Laura B. recounts the details of the Saturday matinee game:
On Sat., Oct. 10 the Cool Cats played the Cheetahs. There were eight Cheetahs and 16 Cool Cats. Both teams were excited about the game and they played really well, but they not only played good, they passed well. At the start of the game the Cheetahs were off to a good start with Coach Wally and Jenna as the Cheetahs goalies and John Nowadly as the Cool Cats mentor goalie. It was a great game and we are proud of how well the kids did and we saw a lot of improvement in our players, even the new ones. The coaches thought that the game went very well and the final score was 11 to 11. Our Cool Cats players were Zach, Bowen, Josh, Luke, Jessie, Sami, Keenen, Eddie, Seth, Lukas, Henry, Praveen, Anna, Emma, Thomas and Ryan. The Cheetahs players were Zach, Rory, Christopher, Benson, and Jay. Sorry to anyone we missed. Lisa, Amanda and Anna's dad were on the Cool Cats bench and Donna, Joyce and I were scorekeeping and our referee was Clyde Hart. We thank all the players, mentors, referees, helpers, coaches, and parents for coming and we hope everyone had a great time.