While So Much Has Changed, So Many Things Are The Same

by Tim McManus

-While So Much Has Changed, So Many Things Are The Same

It’s wild as I sit here, remembering that the last time we were out here in beautiful Southern California was February of last year all before all of the craziness of the pandemic began. Who would have known that as we sat on the plane travelling back to NY, that would be the last time we would be in the air for well over a year. A lot has changed since that last great tourney we held, one being the closure of the HB rink a place that was a great home to Winter Wars for many years. We are excited however to open a new chapter in hosting Winter Wars West at the Rinks Corona Inline and of course in Irvine as well. This is my first time back in Corona since 1999 and a Pacific Cup trip that I can barely remember. Walking around Corona Inline today, it so apparent the pride that the Barrett’s take in the facility. It is so refreshing to see such a beautifully kept facility and I can’t be more excited for the weekend.

Winter Wars West is set up a little differently this year, to help avoid a ton of travel back and forth between both facilities. All of the youth divisions are being held in Corona while the Senior and Pro divisions are held at Irvine. Having a chance to walk around Irvine yesterday, it is always great to visit such a unique and awesome set up. To me there is no better way to watch or play hockey than a beautiful day outside with a covered roof. As always a big shout out to Ron Alexander who does a terrific job as well out in Irvine.

Looking forward to seeing a ton of old friends and faces over the weekend. The tourney kicks off with an all Bulldog matchup as their strong 8u squad plays up against their 10u team. Definitely a lot of bragging rights on the line in this one, but good to get it out of the way right out of the gate.

One thing that definitely is the still the same from a year ago, and that is the great talent and competition that we have come to expect from California. Looking over the team list and divisions, there will be a ton of great hockey played over the next three days. We always go back home after a trip to the west coast and marvel at how many great organizations and players there are out here. So while so much has changed in the last year plus, luckily so many things have stayed the same as well.

Good luck to all teams today and so glad to see hockey is BACK in California!