Brandy Maychrzak lives in a hockey-obsessed household.
The obsession revolves around her sons Ben (12 years old) and Zach (10), who have played in the Everett Youth Hockey League for the past two years.
“They play year-round. Any chance they get to play, they will,” said Maychrzak, who lives in Marysville. “All they ever want to do is play hockey. My knowledge of the sport comes from being a ‘hockey mom’ and being forced to watch the National Hockey League on television all the time.”
Maychrzak decided to get in the game last year, participating in the Silvertips Street Hockey Tournament as a member of an all-female team called the Red Line Rebels.
“We thought there was going to be a mom’s (division),” she said. “We’re all at the arena nine months a year, so we get to be friends by the end of the hockey season. We got a team together and entered the tournament, but there wasn’t a mom’s league, so we played against the guys.
“But it was a good time. We went 0-4, but we held our own.”
Maychrzak works as an event coordinator for Monroe-based Wolfe Plumbing &Wolf Fire Protection, the sponsor of this year’s tournament, which will be held Saturday at Clark Park in Everett. Therefore, her involvement has increased. She’s helped to organize four teams for the tourney — she will play on one of the squads, and her sons will play on two others.
“We play just for fun and hope to survive and still be breathing at the end of the day,” she said. “Some of the players are more serious about it than others, but there’s definitely competitiveness. It’s for bragging rights later on. It’s just a good time — we’ve been practicing twice a week, and you get to hang out, talk, laugh and make good memories.”
Maychrzak’s team — the Savage Snipers — will be a co-ed squad this time around. It includes her husband, Brett, and some of her co-workers. The other adult rec team Maychrzak is organizing is called the Flying Elbows.
“We’ve all improved a little bit,” she said. “(Playing has) helped us to work on our cardio, for sure. Some guys just bought their first hockey stick, so we’re exposing them to the game. It’s not like ice hockey. You’re just out there in tennis shoes running around. We get to laugh and and make fun of each other for the stupid stuff that we do.”
In the 14U division, Maychrzak’s sons will be on opposing teams — Ben will play for the Savage Snipers, while Zach will be a member of the Flying Elbows.
“It’s a real family bonding experience,” Maychrzak said.
That’s exactly what Dan Todoroff, the Silvertips’ director of operations, likes to hear.
“(The tournament) is a fun, family-oriented event,” he said. “We started it to get people interested in hockey, and we especially wanted to give hockey moms and dads a chance to play and have fun. That’s really the direction we want this tournament to go. For the adult rec division to be the biggest division this year is exciting.”
The tournament was played in 2010 and and 2011 and took a two-year hiatus before being resurrected in 2014. Its growth during the past three years is directly tied to its location change.
“In the first two years the tournament was held in a parking lot at Lombard Avenue,” Todoroff said. “It didn’t really serve our needs — the parking situation wasn’t ideal, and balls kept flying into the railroad tracks. It was ultra-competitive. It wasn’t a community event.
“Clark Park is a much better location. The ground is smoother and there’s no potholes. People can sit on the grass and hang out and have picnics. (The feedback) has been much better now that we’ve changed venues. (The event) has become exactly what we wanted it to become.”