September 13, 2005 > Ice Hockey in your own backyard!
Ice Hockey in your own backyard!
by Norbert Tydingco
A power play is on with 30 seconds to go in the third period. The Blackhawks hold a slim 3-2 margin and now, outnumbered on the ice, must hold off a determined rush by the opposition. Skating is fast, and the puck is deftly moved between attackers while defenders check the opposition and vainly try to wrest the puck from the advancing skaters. The Blackhawk goalie dances back and forth in front of the Blackhawk goal waiting to repel the invading skaters and the small round puck. All resources for both teams are thrown into the fray and a desperate slap shot with :02 on the game clock sends the puck between defenders towards the net!
This is the game of ice hockey; those who grew up in colder climates are well aware of the speed and excitement of the game. Major league professional ice hockey has been a West Coast passion now for many years, but as with many sports, finding the time and money to attend a Sharks game in San Jose can be difficult. For those living in the greater Tri-City area, there is another option.
Did you know that you have an opportunity to watch some excellent Ice Hockey basically in your own back yard? Sharks Ice at Fremont located at 44388 Old Warm Springs Blvd. in Fremont is the home rink to one of Northern California's premier youth hockey clubs, the Santa Clara Valley Hockey Association - Blackhawks.
The Blackhawks have been playing "youth" travel ice hockey in Northern California since 1970. The Blackhawks compete in the Northern California Junior Hockey Association (NORCAL) league and along with the Southern California Amateur Hockey Association (SCAHA) make up the California Amateur Hockey Association (CAHA) at the state level. In the past two years alone the Blackhawks have won a total of five state CAHA championships at various age groups.
The club hosts teams with players, boys and girls, ranging from 7 to 18 year olds. There are various age groups for youth travel ice hockey. Players who are under 7 to 8 years old are known as Mites, players 9 to 10 years old are called Squirts, 11to 12 year olds are know as Peewees, with 13 to 14 year olds being listed as Bantams, then comes the 15 to 16 year olds known as Midget16's followed by the 17 to 18 year olds known as Midgets or Midget18's. The Blackhawks have turned out many players who have gone onto playing competitive hockey at the collegiate level and beyond.
No, it's not the NHL, but it is very competitive high level youth travel ice hockey. Here are the costs associated with seeing the Blackhawk home games at Sharks Ice at Fremont:
Transportation to-from the rink - gas money
Parking - free
Admission - FREE
Food - vending machines and/or various teams fundraising BBQ
Sheer enjoyment - priceless
To view the schedule for your S.C.V.H.A. Blackhawks, view the NORCAL web site at www.norcalyouthhockey.com/Schedules.html then look for the Rink Schedule for
Sharks Ice at Fremont down the right side of the page near the bottom. For your convenience, Blackhawk schedules will also be printed in the Tri-City Voice.
Pre-season games will be starting the weekend of October 1. Games are on Saturday and/or Sunday on most weekends. The 2005-06 regular season ends the weekend of March 11, 2006 with Norcal Playoffs being held the next two weekends following and the State Championships (CAHA) will be starting on April 1, 2006.
Should you wish to visit the SCVHA Blackhawks website, for example to find out when tryouts are for next season, periodically go to www.blackhawks.org, or call (510) 623-7200 for more information.