June 18, 2024 4:43 AM
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EDPA East Champions for Another Year

by Ray Smith, Exhibit City News

So, it’s true, the East is elite. At least in hockey, where for the second year, the EDPA East skaters drilled the West, 8-2, in the EDPA Hockey Extravaganza held April 25 at City National Arena in Las Vegas.

Leading 2-1 after the first period, the East scored four quick goals to take command in the second period behind the powerful play of Paul Kahler, who finished with a hat trick and blood on his jersey.

It was dripping from under his lower lip. “Just an unfortunate high stick,” says Kahler, sales representative for IPME. “I’m not going to be dropping any names. I don’t kiss and tell.”

Action slowed in the third period as both teams looked gassed. The lone goal came with 3:59 remaining.

Norm Friedrich and Jessica Mezei each scored two goals for the East, and Matt Farrell added one. Bradley “Slapshot” Burgess tallied both goals for the West. Farrell, an account director for Hamilton who played college hockey in New York, was optioned to the West team for the third period as a handicapping measure, but to no avail.

Angie Johnson, executive director of Freeman and vice president of EDPA Las Vegas, says the Hockey Extravaganza was “significantly bigger” than last year. She helped organize the event to bring tradeshow people together on common ground, or in this case, ice.

“It’s Vegas. We have so many shows here, and hockey is pretty big too,” she says. “Come to find out we’re able to pull 23 hockey players from the industry.”

Other EDPA chapters have expressed desire to participate in next year’s Hockey Extravaganza and may try it in their region, notes Bill Hinchliff, president of IPME and the man who conceived the idea. He was pleased with the turnout, which was at least double last year’s attendance.

“I think as more and more hockey players in the industry catch on, we’ll end up having multiple teams and games,” Hinchliff comments. “It’s definitely a breath of fresh air, mixing things up and creating a new level of excitement and experience. I see this growing and blowing up.”

Walt McCreary was in Las Vegas on business for beMatrix and stopped by the arena to support EDPA and assist at the registration desk. “I’m jealous. I want to play,” he pines. “I’m starting to think if I get some ice time in the next year, I think I can hang with these guys.”

The East was presented with a replica of the NHL Stanley Cup, engraved with the winning team and year. The evening started with a free skating session and concluded with an auction for two “glass seat” tickets to the Anaheim Ducks. About 80 people from various companies associated with EDPA attended the event.

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