AHU gearing up for inaugural Spring Into Squirts tournament
As the 2019-20 hockey season begins to wind down, the Arizona Hockey Union wants to help those that want to keep skating end their seasons on strong notes.
Coming up later this month, the association will host its 19th annual Phoenix Presidents’ Day Invitational from Feb. 14-17 at AZ Ice Gilbert, Gila River Arena, Ice Den Chandler, Ice Den Scottsdale, AZ Ice Arcadia and Oceanside Ice Arena.
Games will start at 7 a.m. on Feb. 14 and final championship games will have puck drops beginning by 4 p.m. on Feb. 17.
Teams are registered in two 8U divisions (A, B), three 10U divisions (AA, A, B), four 12U divisions (Elite, AA, A, B), four 14U divisions (AAA, AA, AA girls, A, B), 16U AAA, 15U AAA, 16U/17U AA, 16U/17U A, and three 18U divisions (AAA, AA, A).
The 16U divisions have been changed to include 17U teams to accommodate the Canadian teams participating that have a few 2001 birth years on their rosters.
Away from the tournament, teams will have opportunities to attend one of two Arizona Coyotes games at Gila River Arena – Feb. 15 against the Washington Capitals and Feb. 17 against the New York Islanders.
Ticket information is available for those games here: www.presidentsdayhockeytournament.com/page/show/2283758-az-coyotes-ticket-offers
In addition, an NHL-Coyotes alumni game is scheduled for Feb. 16 at Ice Den Chandler.
More information on that game is available here: www.presidentsdayhockeytournament.com/page/show/2283759-alumni-game
For game results and more information, visit www.presidentsdayhockeytournament.com.
Later this spring, the club will get set to host the Spring Into Squirts graduation tournament – the first of its kind in the Valley.
According to AHU president Stacy Shupe, this tournament was added since 8U players often have to wait until fall to compete in a full-ice tournament. By adding this event for only 8U players to the catalog of tournaments for the Arizona Hockey Club, the association decided give these players an even playing field to play their first full-ice games competition style.
There should be no state affiliate restrictions on travel or playing within the American Development Model since the tournament is held after the conclusion of the USA Hockey National Tournament for Tier II, and that is when age classifications are officially updated for the subsequent season.
Clubs from all over are invited to participate in the Spring Into Squirts tournament, which will run April 10-12 with only 2011 birth year teams included.
More information will be available soon at www.springintosquirtshockey.com.
— Sean Phillips
(Feb. 12, 2020)