Rugby hockey players attend SD Rushmore Cup Tournament
Northland Hockey Group’s Rushmore Cup, 2nd Annual Hockey Tournament in Rapid City, S.D., was held June 8-11.
A total of eight Rugby hockey players attended the tournament, four playing on the Major Squirt team and four on the Minor Peewee team.
Haylee Jundt, Hailey Mayer, Brooklyn Bartsch and Shanx Brossart made up the Rugby players on the Major Squirt team, called the North Dakota Sioux, which allows players born in 2005. The team won Consolation Champions, receiving a trophy.
Jundt, Mayer and Bartsch were the only girls on the team, which was exciting for them. “It was fun. We got our own locker room,” Mayer said.
Being the only three girl players in the tournament did not stop them from playing at their best, according to Mayer, who said she got to do a flying squirrel attack and head-butt someone.
The Major Squirts ended their fifth and final game with a shoot-out. The opposing team was unable to score against goalie, Brossart, securing the win for the team and the four Rugby players.
“My favorite part was winning a trophy, but I also liked getting to meet new people,” Jundt said.
Dylan Bartsch, Macen Heisler, Austin Dibble and Cooper Bonebreak represented Rugby on the Minor Peewee team, which allows players born in 2004.
Players from all over the country participated in the Rushmore Cup, including players from Wisconsin, New Jersey and Montana. There were also players from Canada.
“It was really cool to see them play with such outstanding kids, such awesome players, from all over,” Ashley Stricker, mother of Brossart, said. “It pushed our kids to play harder. They skate so much more competitively when they want to show off.”
While the tournament mainly focused on hockey, the kids did get to partake in some tourist activities, as well. They visited Mount Rushmore and Reptile Gardens, among other area attractions.
“They had so much fun, and the competition is so well organized. It was good for them,” Stricker said.
The tournament was held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center where the Rapid City Rush professional hockey team plays.
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