Broncos defeat Solarbears in AAA Opener
The North Dakota Broncos defeated a familiar opponent to win the AAA Opener tournament earlier this month in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Broncos defeated the Sioux Falls Solarbears, 4-1, to win the championship in a come-from-behind victory.
The Broncos also came from behind to tie the Nebraska Trailblazers in game 1 of the tournament, and to beat the Iowa Midwest Sabres, 3-2, in game 2.
Broncos coach Jay McClintock said that team defense, skill and toughness were crucial in each win of the tournament.
“We only allowed six goals in five games,” McClintock said, “and we outshot our opponents in every game as well, coming up with some timely goals from a variety of players.”
McClintock said another component in the victories was that the Broncos “came together fast as a team and played as a team” despite distances each members had to travel. The 16-member team includes five from Rugby (Jace Scherr, Micah Hershey, Kyler Odden, Alex Hoffert, Nate Haman); two from Bottineau (Evan Nelson and Riley Olson); and others from Grafton, Park River, and three from towns in Montana.
The Broncos played in the Year 2000 portion of the tournament, or players who were born in the year 2000.
AAA hockey teams play a series of tournaments in the spring and summer months, as well as a few individual games. It is not associated with USA Hockey, an umbrella association for local and state youth hockey organizations.
“The players who want to play AAA are those who want to advance their skills by playing other teams and games with high skill and speed levels,” McClintock said. “The players for each time are rated anywhere from very good to elite skill-wise, and many are top players from their own winter teams.”
– Tribune Staff Report
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