Thursday, January 22, 2015 -
After second place finishes in the Labor Day and Thanksgiving tournaments, the Squirt Travel Team stormed through Salt Lake City this weekend, and captured the Grizz Cup Championship in convincing fashion, with an unblemished 5-0 record. Earning accolades from officials, opposing coaches and parents, the highly disciplined team exhibited poise, sportsmanship and leadership well beyond their years both on and off the ice.
Defeating a solid Hawks squad from Idaho in the semifinal, the Squirt Travel Team met the Jackson Moose, a team which nearly defeated the Storm in the opening round, in the final. From the drop of the puck, the young Squirt Travel Team would not be denied, going up 4-1 in the first period off of goals from Tanner Parker, Chayse Laurie (2), and Jacob Fraker. After defenseman Nick Leleu stole the puck and fired in a goal from the top of the circles late in the second, the Moose came charging back. Scoring a goal late in the second and two more early in the third period, the Moose appeared within reach of the lead. Storm coaches called timeout to settle and refocus the young squad, which did not appear to immediately work, as the Storm took a penalty on the following shift. As they had all tournament, the Storm penalty killers rendered the man-advantage ineffective, though, and when the Storm came back to even strength, Jacob Fraker netted 2 more goals from close range to complete his hat trick and seal the Squirt Travel Team's first tournament championship.
The Squirt Travel Team has played 47 games this season so far, and with 10 players returning as Squirts next year, has become recognized as among the top teams of their age in the Southwest United States. The Grizz Cup Championship is just the start of many great things to come for this young team!!