The 2012 IceHouse Invitational boasted a full 24 player line-up on Saturday, May 5th, 2012, with players from 5 states (including Michigan!) making the trek to Burlington, NJ, to compete for trophies and other prizes (more on that later...) in a flighted, multi-elimination style tournament event.
New Jersey Pennsylvania New York Connecticutt Michigan
John G (JG) Anthony Gade Matt Meinzer Ken Cox Carl Fulsher
Jimmy Schwartz Kevin O'Mally Joe Stumbler Jason Truskoski
Marc Krasner Thomas Spiegle Ashley Tirado Jim Thompson
Bill Brooks Thomas Boyle Mike Thompson
Larry Jefford Dan Pettit Jeremy Davis
Stephen Doherty Eklund Doug Davis
John Del Vacchio Jodi
Date: Saturday, May 5th, 2012
Players were separated into four (4) pools of six (6) players each, to play five (5) round robin games to determine pre-seeding for the tournament. As it turned out, a surprise sponsor to the tournament, HockeyBuzz.com, also donated two (2) tickets to any NHL arena in the country to each of the pool winners - how cool is that?!?
Won/Loss records were calculated after the pool play, with ties broken by head-to-head records, overall points earned, goals allowed, and finally goals scored. Ties were broken in pool first, then out. Eventually players were seeded #1-#24 and the Tournament began. Players competed in 3 game series, with 1st round winners advancing in "A Flight" and losers dropping to "B flight." Winners in "A" continued until only 4 players remained, and those final 4 played in 5 game series until only one player remained - "A" and Tournament Champion Jeremy Davis (CT). "B" Flight players played 3 game series until only 1 player remained - "B" champion John G. (NJ). Early round losers in "B" were dropped to a separate "C" Flight and played single elimination games until only one "C' player remained - "C" champion Larry Jefford (NJ). Here are some of the highlights...
Each of the 4 pools had an undefeated winner - these 4 guys rolled their respective brackets 5-0 and won the HockeyBuzz.com NHL tickets. Here's the full pool breakdown, with pool record and final seeding next to each player's name:
Pool #1 Pool #2 Pool #3 Pool #4
Bill Brooks (5-0, #4) Jimmy Schwartz (5-0, #3) Jason Truskoski (5-0, #1) Jeremy Davis (5-0, #2)
Tom Spiegle (4-1, #7) Doug Davis (4-1, #5) John G (4-1, #6) Dan Pettit (3-2, #8)
Marc Krasner (2-3, #11) Ken Cox (3-2, #9) Anthony Gade (2-3, #12) Carl Fulsher (3-2, #10)
Jim Thompson (2-3, #16) Jodi (2-3, #15) Kevin O'Mally (2-3, #13) Larry Jefford (2-3, #14)
Eklund (2-3, #17) Stephen Doherty (1-4, #20) Mike Thompson (1-4, #19) Tom Boyle (1-4, #18)
Ashley Tirado (0-5, #24) John Del Vacchio (0-5, #23) Joe Stumbler (1-4, #22) Matt Meinzer (1-4, #21)
In the Tournament, the top 8 seeds earned coveted 1st round byes. Early round A Flight matchups with some sizzle included #21 Matt Meinzer upsetting #12 Anthony Gade 2 games to 1, and #15 Jodi taking down #18 Tom Boyle in 3 thrilling games, including a 3-2 "W" deep into O/T in game #3. Round 2 in A Flight held few surprises, though #11 Marc Krasner took #6 John G to a 3rd game, and #10 Carl Fulsher upended #7 Tom Spiegle in a tense 3 gamer. The Elite 8 saw all 4 top seeds advance, though not without some drama - #1 Jason Truskoski lost game 1 to buddy and rival #9 Ken Cox before winning the series in 3 games, and #3 Jimmy Schwatz needed a 3rd game to dispatch #6 John G. In the Final 4, #4 Bill Brooks continued a hot day on his 40th birthday to upend Jason in an exciting 4 game series, winning the 4th game 4-3 in O/T. #2 Jeremy Davis continued his amazing run through the tournament by turning aside friendly foe and rival Jimmy in a 3-0 sweep. The A Flight Finals came down to Jeremy and Bill, and though Bill fought hard, Jeremy was too much, winning in a sweep 6-2, 4-3, and 4-3. Congratulations to 2012 IceHouse Invitational Tournament Champion Jeremy Davis!!!
1st round A Flight series losers dropped down to B Flight, and down in B Flight there were some absolute knockdown, dragout brawls! Husband and wife Eklund (#17 seed) and Jodi (#15 seed) drew an opening round tilt, and the Mrs came through in 3 games, with each win decided by 1 goal. Intense! Other survivors of 3 game series included #20 Stephen Doherty over #14 Larry Jefford, Marc over Anthony, #13 Kevin O'Mally outlasting #19 Mike Thompson, and Matt winning another 3 gamer, this time over great friend (and Staten Island Bubble Hockey League buddy) #22 Joe Stumbler. Higher seeds got back to form as the B flight continued, but not without some scares along the way - #5 Doug Davis had his hands full with Marc before winning in 3 games, and #8 Dan Pettit and Carl waged serious all out war over 3 games, with the 3rd a 4-3 Dan "W." The B Flight Final 4 was Ken and Doug, with Doug cruising in 2 games, and John G v Dan, with John G winning 2 close contests. The B Final of John G v Doug went to John G, 5-3 and 7-3. Congrats to B Flight Champion John G!
Early round losers in B Flight dropped to a single elimination C Flight. Anthony won over #24 Ashley Tirado, Mike beat Eklund 6-1, #16 Jim Thompson ended Joe's day in a great 4-3 game, and Larry eliminated #23 John Del Vacchio. Anthony's 4-3 win over Mike and Larry's 2-1 victory over Jim set up a Larry v Anthony C Flight final. And what a Final! One of the highest scoring games of the day ensued between these South Jersey Bubble Hockey League (SJBHL) members. I can't say I got to see any of the goals, but I know how it ended - with the all-too-familiar to SJBHL members bellow of "Footie!!!!!" from Larry as he executed his signature centerman move in "walk-off" style, dancing the Footie dance across the floor to celebrate a 6-5 win and the C Flight title. Congratulations C Flight winner Larry Jefford!
I hope everyone enjoyed the day as much as I did. Thanks so much to everyone who came to this event, and of course to Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com for his donation of the NHL tickets - what a prize indeed! Special thanks Dan and Bill for helping out as table monitors, and to Jimmy for taking over some administrative duties for me to give me a couple breaks throughout the day - much appreciated my man! And also thanks to Jeremy, Kevin, Tom S, and to everyone who helped moved the day along smoothly by helping get guys (and gals) to their tables timely so that the day sailed along mostly without a hitch - I am truly grateful to everyone who helped me out along the way.
Though this one is barely in the books, it's never too early to talk about the next tournament in New Jersey- the 2012 Burlington Bubble Classic is slated to be held either the end of October or beginning of November in 2012 - check back here at NJBubbleHockey.org all summer long for a confirmed date and all the details. And don't forget that the South Jersey Bubble Hockey League (SJBHL) resumes play in late August 2012 - the league is always open to new members. Keep tuning in NJBubbleHockey.org for info on the league all summer long, and check out the NJBubbleHockey.org Message Board/Forum.
Thanks again to everyone - good event, great times, even better people! Bubble On!!!