KAPA‘A — When one sport ends, another starts.
At least that was the case for Lorna Basquez Friday night when the YMCA of Kaua‘i Inline Hockey Association opened its spring season at the Kapa‘a rinks.
“My daughter plays in the county 12 and Under league, which has only one more week,” Basquez said. “So now we start coming to hockey.”
Friday night’s opener saw a new feature when fledgling skaters were provided their own arena of competition.
Scorekeeper Penni Taketa said the younger players get to play an abbreviated game of two 12-minute periods.
Quickly asserting the Blue influence, Josh Lakatos struck within the first minute. Twelve seconds later, Shannon Sitzler upped the ante at the 11:05 mark.
From that point, it was a Blue-Red defensive slugfest as skaters jockeyed for control.
Sitzler, who finished the contest with 7 goals, struck again at the 1:04 mark for the 3-0 Blue halftime lead.
Despite the strong defensive efforts of Red goalkeeper Sevi Demberton, Blue unleashed a second-half scoring flurry with Sitzler leading the charge on 5 goals.
“Don’t let her shoot,” fans encouraged the Red defense.
Demberton got some help from Marshall Anthony in guarding the goal, but passes to Nina Anthony were sparse and the Red wing had a hard time getting the puck out.
Tomas Sanchez had a nice breakaway in the second half, but the Blue defense stifled the drive before the wing could get a full head of steam.
Joining Sitzler, Lakatos finished with two goals with Sterling Carlare and Isaac Lakato each adding one, Lakato closing the book with a final score at the 1:21 mark.
No sooner had the buzzer sounded when the anxious veteran Squirts slipped through the gates to start their warm-up for their contest.
The Blue team was coached by Todd Mayer, who also served as the referee for the fledgling teams; John Masterson coaches the Red team.
Games are played at the Kapa‘a rink on Friday nights and Sunday afternoons.