Eleven members of the Togo Terriers recreational mens hockey team travelled to Arizona recently to compete in the Phoenix Cup hockey tournament.
The team played three games in the Ice Den, home of the Arizona Coyotes, during the tournament which ran from April 5 to 7.
“It’s a nice arena,” said Terrier Dustin Wilson who played with the team. “We had a lot of fun, and we learned a lot during the tournament. Ice conditions in an arena with outside temperatures in the high 20’s have a different consistency. The ‘softer’ conditions makes for more player effort on the ice, and we didn’t have enough players to make frequent swaps during the games.”
The team was guaranteed to play three games, and the first was a match-up on April 5 against the team of Rosetown, Sk. The Terriers lost by a score of 8 to 6.
The second game played during the morning of April 6 was a hard-fought match against Oakland, Calif., and the Terriers came out on top with a winning score of 5 to 2.
“They were faster, and had more players, but we were able to slow the play down a bit, and make it work to our advantage,” said Wilson of the Oakland win.
The Terriers third match-up was against Maple Ridge, B.C. in the afternoon of April 6.
“We led in the first half,” said Wilson. “Unfortunately they came back strong in the second half and took the game. The ice conditions worked against us.”
With their games behind them, the players and family members along as a cheering section, were able to take in an NHL hockey game played by the Arizona Coyotes against the Winnipeg Jets on the night of April 6.
On April 7 the Togo group attended a Major League Baseball (MLB) game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Boston Red Sox.
“Boston was last year’s World Series champions. It was great to be able to take in the game,” Wilson said.
Average temperatures in Arizona during the week were around 28C, but climbed to 36C (97F) on the last day there. The Togo group arrived in Arizona on April 3, and returned home on April 8.
“We also managed to take in a Phoenix Suns basketball game,” Wilson said. “Hockey, baseball and basketball all in one week. It was a good trip, we were able to do a lot, and everyone had a good time,” he concluded.