OCEAN CITY- The first-ever youth ice hockey tournament in Ocean City last weekend was a huge success with 16 teams and roughly 170 players from all over Maryland and Virginia competing in the inaugural event at the Carousel Resort Hotel.
The tournament held at the Carousel last weekend is believed to be the first of its kind ever in the resort. A total of 16 teams including about 170 young eight-and-under players from all over the region, along with a vast network of coaches, parents, friends and family descended on Ocean City last weekend for the tournament, according to event organizer Tom LaTona.
“I thought it went really well,” he said this week. “I don’t believe anybody as ever attempted this before in Ocean City, but it was a huge success and a win-win for everybody involved.”
LaTona said two years ago, USA Hockey, the governing body for recreational youth hockey, mandated the eight-and-under Mites play games on cross rink or half-rink venues instead of playing on full-length regulation ice rinks. He said the size and shape of the ice rink inside the Carousel fit perfectly into the new mandate for the Mites.
“It dawned on me the Carousel’s ice was comparable to that and we started the wheels in motion for this tournament back in October,” he said. “The feedback from the players, coaches, the families and all involved was awesome. The Carousel staff was second to none and took care of all of our needs throughout the weekend.”
LaTona said the success of the inaugural youth hockey tournament at the Carousel would likely result in similar events in the future.
“There is no question in our minds we’d like to come back and do it again,” he said. “Next year, we might even try to expand it in the future with two or three tournaments a year.”