RECAP: 2019 Mid-Atlantic Broomball Tournament
With 16 total teams converging on the two sheets of ice at ErieBank Sports Park in Erie, Pennsylvania this past weekend, the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Broomball Tournament promised two full days of exciting, hard-fought broomball action. The men’s and women’s teams did not disappoint.
Five women’s teams took the ice vying to become the first ever women’s champion of the Mid-Atlantic Broomball Tournament. The tourney field featured two of the most well-seasoned women’s teams aroundin the Wicked Sisters and the Agents. Two very new teams looking to build tournament experience in Fahrenheit 412 and Burning River, and a great group making the trek to Erie representing the Minnesota Women’s Broomball Program (MWBP).
Upsets were few and far between on the women’s side, and all but three games the entire tournament resulted in shutouts for the winning team. Missing their regular goalie to the European Broomball Championships in France, the Wicked Sisters utilized some unconventional play to control games by pulling their goalie multiple times in a game and completely dominating possession over their opponents; that dominant play led them to grab the top seed. The upsets almost came to a halt in the knockout round, when MWBP struck first against the Agents with a goal against the run of play. Spectacular goaltending from kept the score at 1-0 until the Agents were able to equalize four minutes into the second half, and Lauren Kirby’s goal from just in front of the net with 32.9 seconds left gave the Agents the tally they need to advance to the championship game.
The championship featured two teams very familiar with each other in the Wicked Sisters and the Agents. It was only fitting that their matchups both started and concluded the women’s division. Hai-Ling Liao’s well-placed power play goal from the right side of net gave the Wicked Sisters a crucial 1-0 lead midway through the first half. The Agents would put heavy pressure on the Wicked Sisters trying to equalize in the second half, including having a late power play opportunity, but the Ohio/Indiana group stood firm. When Katie Heckman’s Hail Mary shot from well beyond center red was tipped just over the crossbar and the buzzer sounded, it was the Wicked Sisters whose 1-0 win meant they were holding the championship banner at the end.
The 11 teams in the men’s division represented almost every broomball program up and down the Eastern Time Zone. With this number alone being a record for the Mid-Atlantic Broomball Tournament, it was more than clear that an A champion and a B champion should be awarded on the men’s side in 2019.
The experienced and well-seasoned men’s teams generally ruled seeding play, as the top two seeds in the A bracket were snatched by the Legislators (featuring a number of current and former Legion BC players) and the Outlaws of Syracuse, who brought a reasonably strong team despite playing in the Canada Cup a week before with an even more built-up roster. The defending Men’s C champions from Nationals in Fargo, the Ohio Bombers, took seed 3, while a surprise Carolina team jumped up to snatch the fourth spot. Some teams had their depth tested after some injuries throughout the weekend.
The lower championship featured a rematch of seeding play, with Pittsburgh’s Brooms of Steel taking on Miami University. Chris Warrington’s one-timer from the slot gave the Pittsburgh squad a 1-0 second half lead. The lead was short-lived, as Will Dausman scored from right on the doorstep to even it up. Neither team could find a winner in regulation or regular overtime. In the sudden death second overtime, the college kids from Oxford, Ohio withstood a barrage of shot attempts before being able to counter and score the winner to claim the B championship, 2-1.
Knockout play featured a small upset with Top Shelf knocking out the Bombers in the first round. However, the A championship featured the two teams many expected to reach the final in the Legislators and the Outlaws.
The finals featured much of the high level chess match broomball fans come to expect when the best broomball players match up against each other. All four goals in the final game were scored on odd-man breaks. The Legislators struck first on a gorgeous goal by Joe Ulerich, but Mike Roden’s hammer shot on a 2 on 1 evened things up at 1. The Legislators weren’t finished, though, as the dynamic Legion duo of Ulerich and Kasey Kirby each scored impressive goals in alone on the Outlaws goalie. A 5 minute major penalty on the Outlaws over midway through the second half greatly hampered their ability to try to even things up, and the Legislators were indeed able to hold on for the 3-1 victory and the 2019 Mid-Atlantic Broomball Tournament’s A championship.
The Pittsburgh Broomball Club would like to thank everyone who attended and played in this year’s tournament. The club would like to provide a special thanks the Erie Sports Commission in providing more than enough support to us in running the tournament and exposing more people to the sport of broomball, to ErieBank Sports Park for being a terrific venue, and to Brian Mitchell for providing the stream and call for so many games this past weekend, including all three championships.
All streamed games are available to be viewed on the Broomball Central LIVE Facebook page, as well as the Pittsburgh Broomball Club’s own Facebook page. The PBC hopes to bring you this tourney again next year!