Semi-pro inline hockey returns to El Cajon with debut of Tron Hosers

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The Tron Hosers will make their 2014-15 American Inline Hockey League debut on Sunday, Jan. 25, with an eight-game marathon match-up against Orange County’s Revision Vanquish at the Skate San Diego rink in El Cajon.

The action is scheduled to face off at 9 a.m. and conclude with games at 4:30 p.m.

Six teams will actually be in action representing the two Pacific South Division rivals, including three from each club.

The Tron Hosers will make their 2014-15 American Inline Hockey League debut on Sunday, Jan. 25, with an eight-game marathon match-up against Orange County’s Revision Vanquish at the Skate San Diego rink in El Cajon.

The action is scheduled to face off at 9 a.m. and conclude with games at 4:30 p.m.

Six teams will actually be in action representing the two Pacific South Division rivals, including three from each club.

Elite Division games are scheduled at noon and 2:15 p.m.

Also in action will be the club’s two Minor Division teams. The Hosers Blue team will take on the Vanquish White team at 9 a.m., followed by the Hosers Black team against the Vanquish Blue team at 9:45 a.m.

The Hosers Black team will then face off against the Vanquish White team at 10:30 a.m., followed by an 11:15 a.m. clash between the Hosers Blue team and the Vanquish Blue squad.

The Minors teams will then pair up again later in the afternoon. When the dust finally settles on the playing court, all three teams from each club will have played two games against each other.

The Vanquish is one of Southern California’s premier inline hockey clubs. The Orange County team captured the AIHL Minor Division national championship in 2012.

The Tron Hosers were known as the San Diego Voodoo last season. The sponsorship by HockeyTron.com, one of the nation’s leading hockey equipment suppliers, is new this season.

“I am thrilled with the Tron/Hoser partnership and I believe both parties will greatly benefit from this arrangement,” explained Tron Hosers head coach Joe Noris, a former NHL and World Hockey Association ice hockey pro. “I’ve been using Tron skates, sticks and protective gear for over a year now and I find them to be the best value of any product I have ever used.”

Chris Malik, president of CEO of Tron Sports, concurred with Noris’ sentiments about the deal.

“The club has deep roots with a roller hockey history that goes back to the beginnings of the sport,” Malik noted in a prepared statement. “We look forward to many championships together.” 

The Hosers organization is one of the oldest inline hockey programs in the United States and was the first competitive roller hockey club to make the successful transition from quad skates to inline hockey skates 25 years ago.

Following the 2014-15 AIHL season, the Tron Hosers plan to send teams to major international championship tournaments such as the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARCh), Tournament of Roller Hockey Series (TORHS) and the Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympic Games.

The Pacific South Division is rated among the toughest divisions in the AIHL, which is considered the nation’s leading semi-pro inline hockey league. 

Teams from the division all placed runner-up at last May’s AIHL Championship Finals in Pennsylvania. The OC Alliance finished runner-up to the Long Island 495ers in the Elite Division while the OC Alliance Pink team finished second to the 495ers White team in the Minor Tier 1 championship game and the Irvine Vanquish Blue squad placed runner-up to the 495ers Blue in the Minor Tier 2 championship game.

Buoyed by the injection into the line-up of high-scoring sniper Charles Baldwin, the Voodoo finished on a hot streak at the end of last season and is looking to start where it left off under its new name.

Baldwin led the league in points per game after joining the Voodoo from Sweden, where he had been playing professional ice hockey.

Baldwin and his younger brother David were both members of the Team USA squad that captured a gold medal at November’s Hong Kong Asian Cup Classic.

The coed American team finished 6-1-1 in its eight games in Hong Kong (Nov. 26-30) and defeated defending champion China (Beijing) by a score of 6-4 in the championship game.

Charles Baldwin racked up three goals and one assist in the gold medal game while David Baldwin contributed two goals and one assist.

Team USA defeated host Hong Kong, 6-4, in the semifinals, with Charles Baldwin also recording a hat trick and David Baldwin scoring twice.

Charles Baldwin led the tournament in scoring.

“We tore it up over there,” said Charles Baldwin, also known as YouTube rapper Chucky Slick.

David Baldwin is currently helping coach West Hills High School’s roller hockey team.

Admission to Sunday’s AIHL season opener is $5.

Skate San Diego is located at 165 Denny Way, El Cajon. For more information, call (619) 562-0323.

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