Friday, November 23, 2018

By Lee Samuels

Las Vegas – No one said it was going to be easy for coach Wally Lacroix and his AA Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u here at the International Silver Stick Regional Tournament.

Jacob Underhill, a hard worker always while on the ice, scored with an assist from John Purdy for the hometown Vegas Jr Golden Knights 16u in a 3-1 loss to the AA Orange County Hockey Club 16u on the South Rink at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

Liam Scott, a 6’0, 190 goalie from OCHC had a good skillset – great side to side movement and keeping corners closed off – and was very strong in the net.

And Liam was fortunate to even be on the ice in Las Vegas.

The recent LA Fires were just three houses away from his family home in Corona, California. Liam’s house and neighborhood were in extreme danger. He and his hockey family were safely evacuated. 

Liam has been in Las Vegas before. He twice has been at Roy Henderson’s Las Vegas Global Showcase and plans to return there this summer here at the Las Vegas Ice Center.

From the Blue Line – Jacob Underhill, Heath Mensch, Ian Williams and John Purdy played well for Vegas Jr Golden Knights. Underhill takes deep routes and usually finds himself in the shark waters around enemy nets…Zackary Ortolano was the goalie for the Jr Golden Knights. He’s a hard worker at all times – great to watch him….There were a lot of Vegas folks and players at the boards including outstanding goalie Luke Fundator of the AAA Arizonza Bobcats 16u…the great Kirk Brooks himself handed us our Silver Sticks program. He owns the Ice Center…OCHA players had small Ducks logos on their helmets. They have a team in the Ducks High School League…and yes, it was real cold with a 7 am faceoff inside of the South Rink…Vegas hockey dad Robert Purdy said he didn’t mind the cold. He grew up in mind-numbing coldness in Minot, North Dakota…Who exactly is the big rival for the Vegas Jr Golden Knights – well, the Park City Miners were mentioned a few times at the rinkboards and they are in this tournament …..Referee Leavitt today was outstanding – as he is everytime we’ve seen him. He has an unique effective way of keeping a game on the right track…Vegas vs Arizona Sun Devils 16u here 4 pm in a major matchup.