Published: Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, 9:01 p.m.
Updated 4 hours ago
Mark Madden claims to be the best sports analyst on the radio, and he certainly has his fans, including Hempfield’s Jeff Ianni.
“As someone who listens to a variety of sports talk radio, there is no disputing that Madden is the biggest name,” Ianni said.
While those like Ianni heap praise on Madden for his work on 105.9 “The X,” he said he also reveres Madden’s reputation for helping to deliver competitive and entertaining indoor ball hockey, dek hockey and inline hockey tournaments.
“They rank at or near the top,” said Ianni of Madden-hosted tourneys like the upcoming one to be played this weekend at HotShots Indoor Sports Arena, located at 482 Bessemer Road in East Huntingdon.
“The competition, number of teams and tourney locations are spot on. Mark does an excellent job managing the events,” he said.
Games at the local facility will begin on Saturday and they will conclude Sunday.
The tournament is open to the public and attendance is free.
Ianni enters his team, a member of HotShots’ Sunday Adult League, in many indoor ball hockey tournaments across the country each year, including the past three Sunshine Shoot-out Indoor Ball Hockey Tournaments held each June in Florida.
The squad is made up of locals from the Greensburg, Mt. Pleasant, Scottdale and Connellsville areas, he said.
As captain of a traveling adult hockey team, Ianni said, he knows a good tournament director when he sees one, and Madden fits the bill.
He added that Madden’s brash, on-air radio personality defies the man’s demeanor as a tournament host.
“Mark is very courteous, and he works with you regarding pay to play, schedule requests and general tourney information,” Ianni said.
Others who work with Madden to host this event, including HotShots general manager Nick Pilotti, couldn’t agree more with Ianni’s assessment.
“Having both of Mark Madden’s spring and fall tournaments, as well as being named the host site, is a huge honor for us,” Pilotti said. “We value both the ball hockey community and Mark’s passion for bringing the best ball hockey tournament to HotShots.”
Madden said his resume for hosting ball hockey tournaments speaks for itself.
“This is good hockey, both roller and street. Play is very even and exciting. This isn’t for elite players. They have their own tournaments. But when you get 35-40, even 50 teams every time you open the doors for a tournament, you must be doing something right,” Madden said. “I’m almost as good at this as I am at radio, and I’m the best ever at radio. We have great referees. It’s clean, fun hockey.”
The upcoming tournament will likely have a positive economic impact on local businesses with its wide draw of teams and players, Madden said.
“HotShots is state-of-the-art,” he said. “(It’s) just a perfect facility for my events, and well-managed.
HotShots’ quality is one of the thing that keeps teams coming back, Madden said.
“You have the Holiday Inn Express literally three minutes away. Lots of restaurants and shopping. Nothing is difficult about playing at HotShots. It’s an easy, fun weekend,” he said.
HotShots’ Sunday Adult League is known for being one of the best regionally with players, Ianni said.
“The level of competition is very high. There are many great teams that travel from all over Pennsylvania and (out-of-state) to compete,” Ianni said.
For more information, call HotShots at 724-547-5700.
Josh King is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.