NB hockey team wins ‘Squirtacular’ title

The B1 Squirt team consists of Jordan A., Ryan C., Cody C., Lawton G., Jack H., Jeremy I., Dawson J., Joey K., Jesse L., Evan M., Zakary R., Tucker S. and Jake T. The head coach is Brian Kerchner, assisted by Tom Garin, Todd Harvey, Todd Iverson, Dan Lesman and Will Turek. Photo supplied

The B1 Squirt team consists of Jordan A., Ryan C., Cody C., Lawton G., Jack H., Jeremy I., Dawson J., Joey K., Jesse L., Evan M., Zakary R., Tucker S. and Jake T. The head coach is Brian Kerchner, assisted by Tom Garin, Todd Harvey, Todd Iverson, Dan Lesman and Will Turek. Photo supplied

The North Branch Area Hockey Association’s B1 Squirt team was invited to play in the Youth Hockey Hub’s Squirtacular Tournament March 13-17 in Bloomington.

The tournament consists of the top 16 Squirt teams across the state based on YHH’s rankings throughout the season. “It is an honor in itself to be selected to compete in this tournament,” said Nikki Saleen, publicity director for the NBAHA.

First up, the Vikings defeated Osseo/Maple Grove (OMG) 5-1 on March 13. “The Vikings have some very talented skaters…beating a very hot OMG team,” a Youth Hockey Hub blog pointed out.

North Branch then beat Edina Black 6-2 on Thursday and celebrated again with a 8-2 victory over Woodbury on Saturday. As a result, the team reached the semifinals against Minneapolis on Sunday morning, while two Edina teams faced off in the other semifinal.

Said the YHH blog, “Both Edina Silver and Gold emerged as tie breaker winners. North Branch advanced in A and Minneapolis advanced in Pool D — big city versus small town in one semi and Cake versus Eater in the other semi. Our ‘small town’ team showed that ‘big city’ that we know our stuff.”

The Vikings went on to defeat Minneapolis 6-4, and Edina Gold won its game. So the puck was set to drop for the championship game at 12:45 p.m. Sunday, March 17.

The Vikings from North Branch have been the most impressive team so far in the B Tournament, the YHH blog noted, and the boys carried that momentum to the end by taking down the team from Edina 7-2.

With the North Branch Area Hockey Association’s B1 Squirt team taking the 2013 Squirtacular Title, it was the perfect ending to a spectacular season of North Branch hockey. Congratulations to the boys and their coaches.

“A great story of two teams unfolded in the championship game,” the YHH blog said. “Tiny North Branch with no home rink and a very small population base to draw from sweeps its pool and wins the championship bracket to win the Squirtacular Title over Edina Gold.”

— Article provided by the North Branch Area Hockey Association. Quotes in article from commentary on the Live Scoring blog written by Tony Scott for Youth Hockey Hub at www.youthhockeyhub.com

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