THE RINKS Represented at World Inline Championships
By Matt Vevoda
In just a few months since the Ducks officially launched THE RINKS program, the three-facility rink development program is already making considerable strides. Those gains will soon be on full display in, of all places, Varese, Italy.
That is where the 2009 World Inline Hockey Championship will take place beginning June 28. And several players and coaches from THE RINKS (Corona Inline, Huntington Beach Inline and Anaheim ICE) will play large roles for USA squads in the three divisions at the tournament – Under-18, Women’s and Men’s.
“Southern California is going to be a major factor on all three major teams at the World Championships,” said Under-18 head coach Ken Murchison, who also manages the inline facilities of THE RINKS program. “That is something special.”
Murchison spoke from the Philadelphia airport Thursday morning, from where he and the USA teams departed for Italy.
Three players based out of Corona Inline are on Murchison’s Under-18 roster – forward KC Groon and defensemen Josh Winters and Joey Doran. The coach spoke highly of that trio and their importance to the team in the upcoming competition. “Those three kids are going to bring a lot to the team,” Murchison said. “We’ll announce our captains once we’re in
Hockey was engrained in Murchison while growing up in
“It’s a unique opportunity for me,” said Murchison of coaching
Along with the head coach and three players from the Under-18 team, THE RINKS will have a strong representation on the Women’s and Men’s teams in
On the men’s side, two players from THE RINKS are among the USA players – Michael Urbano (the Adult Hockey Director at Huntington Beach) and Josh Laricchia. The Women’s tournament consists of eight teams and will also be held June 28-July 4. Men’s action featuring 16 teams will then take over July 5-11.
“I think the competition is going to be very tight,” said Murchison. “I expect the level to be very good.
Murchison lauded the Ducks for embracing roller hockey along with the ice product through THE RINKS program, which the team officially launched in a ceremony at Corona Inline on February 16 with Bobby Ryan (an inline player as a youth), Teemu Selanne, Chris Pronger and Rob Niedermayer among those in attendance.
“I really believe the Ducks are going to play a big part,” Murchison said. “To have an NHL team get involved with inline hockey, it’s really created a lot of awareness throughout the country and internationally. I think it’s definitely going in the right direction. I feel we’re into a re-birth with roller hockey. I think the future is bright. Hopefully at some point, it would be nice to host the Worlds at one of our rinks down the road.”
For more information on the Rinks program, visit www.The-Rinks.com. All three locations are now registering youth and adult players for their hockey programs.