Despite cloudy skies in downtown Buffalo on Sunday afternoon, a record number of teams competed in the fourth annual Dick's Sporting Goods Street HockeyFest.
More than 150 squads battled in the full day tournament in the shadows of HSBC Arena with a crowd of approximately 3,500 people in attendance. Opening games of the tournament began at 9:00 am and each division's championship occurred around dusk.
"We are pleased that this tournament continues to grow each year," stated Sabres Special Events Coordinator, Jenifer Dunford. "Hopefully, next year we will be able to accommodate even more teams."
The continuing growth of the tournament is demonstrated in its younger participants. The inaugural tournament featured just 32 teams, a strong contrast to this year's Pee Wee bracket, which consisted of 56.
The competition, which was open to boys and girls from five years old to adults, featured five divisions broken down by age groups.
Below is a listing of each division and the champions:
-- Mites (5-7 yrs): Shamrocks - Jack Lalley, Brian Conboy, Austin Otterbein, Nick Brers, and Mark Matthews
-- Squirts (8-10 yrs): West Seneca Wings - Michael Ederer, Taylor Sharman, Brett Helmbrecht, Brandon Bork and Eric Szczecinski
-- Pee Wees (11-14 yrs): B-Lo Snipeshow - Matt Clifford, Brian Doherty, Dave Vinci, Joe Contafio and Kyle McLain
-- Midgets (15-17 yrs.) Pretty Louies - Ed Sudik, Erin Mancuso, Franky Briandi, Chad Mosure and Kolton Mosure
-- Electric Company (18+ yrs.) (Three-time champions) - Dave Provorse, Brian Provorse, Rodney Giove, Shawn Reed and Jaime Annunziata.
No player walked away empty handed, as each received a HockeyFest t-shirt and hat for simply competing in the event.
As an added bonus, Dick's Sporting Goods graciously donated $10 gift certificates all participating players.
For the third consecutive year in the featured game of the day, the Buffalo Sabres Alumni team - consisting of Gilbert Perreault, Larry Playfair, Rob Ray, Mike Boland and Darryl Shannon - demolished the WGR 550-AM All-Stars, 9-4.