Colorado Rubber

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Castle Rock’s Gauerke parlays Littleton, TPH years into junior opportunity with USPHL’s Predators


Originally born in Minnesota, Levi Gauerke found his formative years playing hockey in Colorado for the Littleton Hawks and Total Package Hockey.

Next season, Gauerke will head to the junior hockey ranks in nearby Utah after recently signing with the USPHL’s Provo Predators.

“While on the Littleton Hawks 18U team, we were in California for nationals,” said Gauerke. “Coach (Nick) Dreyer reached out to me and had a lot of good things to say about his program. After some back-and-forth communicating, he offered me a spot. My family and I went out to check out the program and that pretty much sealed the deal. 

“I really agree with everything Coach Dreyer and the Provo Predators stand for and feel it’s going to be a good fit for me. Coach has good morals, and he knows what he wants from and for the team. Provo is a cute town and reminds me of home, plus the team moving to the NCDC (in 2023-24) is an exciting opportunity. With hard work, I hope to move along with them. Leaving home will be a fun experience, especially in a new state. I know my family will support me and be at as many of my games as they can.”

Gauerke said that his time with LHA’s 18U squad was “a great experience.”

“The boys were ferda, and we had a lot of fun together,” he said. “Coach Tiny, Coach Rick and JR worked to develop each player’s unique strengths. Our team had a lot of talent, but it was a disappointing end to the season not to go farther at nationals. Ending 0-3 was absolutely brutal. I feel very prepared for the next level and I’m ready to help make Provo the team to be in our division.

“Playing for the Littleton Hawks helped me develop strategy of team play that I hope to carry over to my new team.”

Growing his game in Colorado has been a major turning point for Gauerke as he pursues his hockey dreams wherever he may go.

“I was born in Burnsville, Minn., but moved to Colorado when I was four,” said Gauerke. “I basically call Castle Rock my hometown because I can’t remember any place else. There are so many coaches that have influenced me throughout the years. I grew up playing for the Arapahoe Warriors and started Mites with the late Coach Sunny and Coach Michelle Riely when I was four. I had a lot of great coaches with Arapahoe hockey. A highlight is when Sean Leonard, Dan Beaudette and Tim Shay took my Pee Wee AA team to Quebec to represent the Colorado Avalanche at the Quebec tournament.

“I have to mention my dad, Scott Gauerke, has been the greatest influence. He has been coaching me on and off the ice since I first put on skates when I was two. He has always had my best interest and pushes me to work hard and have a team-first playing style.”

At TPH, where Gauerke played his junior and senior years of high school, that experience only furthered his development.

“Coach Jordan Pietrus, Jared ‘Buzzy’ Bussard and Jay Sprague really upped my game,” Gauerke said. “They taught me to think pro-minded and to plan for success not failure. This is something I tried to live up to and keep working towards. In addition, my Castle View High School coach, Lee Olson, really believed in my ability and gave me confidence.”

Now with the next level established, Gauerke wants to play the game of hockey as long as possible.

“My dream has always been to be paid to play hockey,” said Gauerke. “I will continue to work towards that. My current goal is to grow as a player with the Provo Predators and move up with them to the NCDC. I plan to be an influential player taking this team to the next level.

“College hockey is something I am open to. I’m not ruling out any hockey path. I absolutely want to go as far as I can in my hockey career.”

Photo/Julie Ballantine

— Matt Mackinder

(August 9, 2022)

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