Sunday, April 23, 2006

on Balitang America

This past Saturday, folks from TFC's (The Filipino Channel) Balitang America came to Sharks Ice at Fremont to do a story about Nikko. BIG THANKS to Azenith Smith and Joe the camera guy for taking time out to do this story. For more information on Balitang America, check them out on abs-cbn or TFC.

I'm sure Nikko is sick and tired of all the interviews I've put him through in the past week (two to be exact). He says he doesn't like interviews where he has to answer more than one question. This is because currently, Nikko's answers consist of "Good." As in:

Interviewer: So Theo, how does it feel to win so many championships?
Nikko: Good.
Interviewer: How would you describe your style of play?
Nikko: Good.
Interviewer: So, what do you think of global warming?
Nikko: Good.

You get the picture. I told him that although he may hate me now, he'll appreciate my efforts to getting him some much-deserved publicity. (Err. Umm... I hope he appreciates this when he gets older.) Anyway... here are some photos from Saturday.

This is Norbert getting interviewed in front of Sharks Ice at Fremont.

Mark: Whoa! You have an "M" on your palm Theo! It looks just like mine!
Nikko: Good.
Roy: Dude. Mark, you're not the only one in the world with an "M" on your palm.
Nikko: Good.

Nikko in front of the camera. He looks petrified, doesn't he?

Joe the camera guy and reporter Azenith Smith hard at work.

Friday, April 21, 2006

the iceman winneth

A quick newsflash... The Guam Pacific Daily News just published a story on Nikko. BIG THANKS to the reporter Alex J. Rhowunio'ng for the story. You can check it out here complete with a photo and all.

I copied the story below in case the site is down. Enjoy!

The iceman winneth
Santa Clara's Tydingco plays at top of his game

By Alex J. Rhowunio'ng
Pacific Daily News
Originally published April 21, 2006

Theoren Tydingco continues to defy the odds.

At age 13, he just might be the world's only Chamorro-Filipino ice hockey player -- and he's good, good enough to be a champion. His team, the Santa Clara Blackhawks, beat the Indianapolis Racers 4-0 in the finals to win the USA Hockey Peewee Tier II Nationals April 2 in Fort Wayne, Ind.

The 5-foot-3-inch, 125-pound defenseman -- the son of Norbert and Cristina Tydingco of Newark, Calif. -- lives the life of an elite athlete. He just returned from the Czech Republic and will leave for Canada in June for summer tournaments.

"Winning the national championships was an incredible accomplishment for Theo," Norbert Tydingco said via the telephone. "It capped off an amazing year of successes that included winning the Best Defenseman Award at the Bell Capital Cup All-Star Game in Ottawa, Ontario, and being named to the Silver Stick International All-Star in Port Huron Michigan."
Theoren Tydingco has played in summer tournaments near Calgary, Alberta, the past few years, and he'll spend June through early July up there.

"This year, I am going to work out more to get into better shape," he said. "I'm going to work on my weaknesses -- my backhand shot, my quickness and (explosiveness).

"Now, I lift weights, do pushups and sit-ups for my upper-body strength," he said. "I also do curls for more power in my shot."

He added that he is not lifting to bulk up but to get the strength he needs for speed and explosion, and to help keep the risk of injury to a minimum.

Theoren Tydingco was with Team USA in the Czech Republic, where he represented the United States in an international tournament against teams from Austria, the Czech Republic and Russia.

"We played about five games, but we did not really have any competition," Theoren Tydingco said matter-of-factly.

The closest game, he said, was a 5-3 win against the Russia Silver Sharks. The others were blowouts.

Despite his success on the frozen pond, Theoren Tydingco said he is "not very, very special at home."

"(My parents) don't treat me any different from my 8-year old brother, Brendan, and 22-year-old sister, Sonia," he said.

Even his friends at Newark Junior High School don't treat him differently.

"They still know me as a person, not different from any other ... just that I have a hockey background," said the seventh-grader.

Theoren Tydingco knows the importance of being grounded, and he carries that attitude into the classroom.

"I want to play professional hockey, but I keep my grades up and work hard in school first," he said.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

off to Prague

Here's the official National Championship photo of the team. Nikko and Norbert are towards the left. I don't think it'll be hard to find their brown faces. It looks like the San Jose Sharks (yes, of the NHL) posted a story about the Blackhawks winning the National Championship. Here it is.

Nikko left for Prague yesterday. Earlier when I asked if he was excited about going, he looked a little sad and said, "I really wish someone in our family was going with me." It's tough because we can barely afford to send him, let alone one of us along with him. Luckily, he's with trusted family friends, so I think he'll be fine. My sister wrote this to me:

As we we're driving out of our driveway, it was just me and Nikko in the car...he turned to me and said "I'm going to miss you mom. I going to miss all of you." I looked at him and I see and feel by the look on his face that he wished one of us was w/him on this trip. I told him we would miss him so much.

I told my sister that if he plans on continuing on this path, he's going to have to get used to being away from home. It's just one of those sacrifices you make for the things you love. I hope he has a great trip and takes my advice about taking lots of pictures and keeping a journal.

He comes back next week.

Me: Hey Nikko, bite the medal. You know, like how the Olympic athletes do it.
Nikko: Huh?
Me: Just bite the medal so I can take the photo!
Nikko: (biting the medal) Ew! This doesn't taste very good!
Me: Ew! You're not supposed to taste it! (Click.)

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

words from the "Miracle" men

Below is a letter from Kurt Russell to the Santa Clara Blackhawks. Russell played legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks in the film Miracle. Note: Click on the letter for a larger view.

Below is a letter from Mike Eruzione to the Santa Clara Blackhawks. Eruzione was the captain of the gold medal 1980 Olympic Hockey team. As many of you may know, team USA in 1980 were known as the "miracle" team because they entered the games as total underdogs, and ended up taking the gold. Much like the Blackhawks, many didn't think much of a Northern California hockey team, but the 'hawks proved the nation wrong.

As Norbert mentioned in his note, these letters really inspired the team to pull through and play some great hockey. Although a little difficult to read, do enjoy the words from the new fans of the Santa Clara Blackhawks. I hope they inspire you as much as they did the team.

As they say... if you dream about it, it will happen. Check out this photo I took of Nikko. Okay, okay... I made him take this photo. (If you know Nikko, you'd know this was totally fabricated because like his dad, he usually sleeps with his mouth open! he he heeh!) I can't help it if I have a great sense of humor and an artistic eye. ha ha ha! In case you're wondering, these are the medals/trophies he's taken home this season. Pretty impressive, huh?

Monday, April 03, 2006

a message from Coach Norbert

Hello all,

This will be the first of a series of entries about Nikko, Norbert, the Santa Clara Blackhawks, and their road to the national championships. If you would like to listen to an audiocast of the semi-final and final games, click here. Scroll down to "Tier II 12U - Ft. Wayne, Ind. - Eastern Time." The Blackhawks played April 1st at 9am and 5pm and again on April 2nd at 11am. I'm not sure how long the audio cast will be up, so take advantage of them while they're still there.

If you would like to see a write-up report of the championship game, click here.

The team has received numerous messages of support and are still recovering from a tiring, but exhilarating experience in Fort Wayne. Below is a message from Norbert. Enjoy!

[Note: Some things to look forward to include good luck letters to the team from Kurt Russell (star of "Miracle," who portrayed Coach Herb Brooks), Mike Eruzione (Captain of the 1980 gold medal Olympic Hockey Team), San Jose Sharks Coach Ron Wilson, and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. I'm also waiting for photos from folks. Finally, they should be featured in the next issue of "USA Hockey" magazine. Keep checking back for updates!]


I want to thank those who posted, called, and e-mailed messages of support to our team. They were passed on to the team in the locker room before each game and they helped.

You should have seen the look in their eyes, when they were read letters from Governator Schwarzenegger, Sharks Coach Ron Wilson, Kurt Russell, and especially the one received from "Miracle" team captain Mike Eruzione.

Later in the tournament, they received congratulations and encouragement from other teams as they advanced closer and closer to the title game. Most notably from the entire Phoenix Firebirds squad who attended both the semi-final and final games and cheered loudly for the Blackhawks.

One of the most heartwrenching moments of the game came late in the third period after we had scored the goal to put us up, 4-0. Players, recognizing the fact that the game was in hand, asked the coaches to put the back-up goaltender in the game. He had played only two periods during the entire tournament and they wanted him to have his moment in the biggest game of their lives.

As the goaltending change was made with 1:50 left in the game, the crowd cheered loudly, tears of joy started to flow. You can hear the crowd in the webcast of the game.

Earlier in the season, someone posted that we didn't get all the best players, and he was correct. We got the right ones!

When their hockey careers are over -- some sooner than others -- 17 players will look back at this season and smile. I am most proud of the fact that I was there to share it with them.

- Coach Norbert "Junior Boy" Tydingco