Everett Silvertips’ tournament showcases local hockey community

EVERETT — The tournament may be new, but many of the players are not strangers to each other.

Twenty teams of up to six players descended on the streets of Everett for the first Silvertips Street Hockey challenge July 17.

But, for many of the local players, this was a chance to see what their teammates — and opponents — looked like in natural light.

“We see a lot of these guys around the (Cascade League),” said Ryan Sherwood, 27, of Arlington.

Sherwood was a member the team Sting II, which won the 18-plus title. His Cascade League team had so many players sign up for the league that it was split into two teams of six.

“You got to figure you’ll see guys around from other leagues,” said Pat Pawlak, 31, of Marysville who was on team Tailgators. “To me, that’s cool.”

Pawlak, who plays for Cascade League team Vanilla Ice, and Sherwood agreed that there was a good showing from a large northern Snohomish County hockey community.

Of course, there were also some differences.

“I wasn’t too sure about the rinks because there aren’t too many street hockey tournaments in Washington state,” said Sherwood, who last played in such a tournament when he was 13 in Tacoma.

To help smooth the transition from ice to pavement, Sting II practiced in front of Sherwood’s teammate Tayler Osterander earlier that morning.

“We warmed up at his place this morning, but we’re not totally unfamiliar with street hockey — we still go outside and play every once in a while,” Sherwood said.

With bails of hay along the end lines, however, Sherwood said it requires more skill.

“You have to be a lot sharper and communicate because there isn’t much space,” he said. “You can’t just ice it all the way down there and hope to get a shot.”

With all of the hockey interest in Snohomish County, tournament director Rob Ramsburgh expected such a high level of play.

“Seeing the kinds of kids that come to the summer camps, and being around the youth and adult leagues, it wasn’t surprising to see such a high level of play.”

He did say that he was most impressed by the goal tending, noting that a couple of goalies posted shutouts.

“In a 20 minute game with all that gear, in that heat — that’s an accomplishment,” he said.

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