Exposure key for Colorado squads at America’s Showcase
For Team Colorado Burgundy and Team Colorado White, the trip across the country last month was well worth it.
Each squad participated in USA Hockey’s annual America’s Showcase in Pittsburgh, a tournament that gives high school junior and senior players a chance to display their talents for coaches from prep school, AAA, junior and college teams.
Colorado Burgundy and Colorado White each went 2-1-1 (two wins, one loss in regulation time and one loss in a shootout) during the April 14-18 competition at Robert Morris University’s Island Sports Center in suburban Moon Township.
In Colorado Burgundy’s shootout loss, the team battled back from a 4-1 deficit after the first period to tie the game and scored with a minute left in regulation time to send the game into overtime.
The seven points racked up by Colorado Burgundy were enough to finish in second place in its eight-team division behind Team Washington (nine). Team Mid-American (six), Team Texas (six), Team New York (five), Team Massachusetts (five) and Team District of Columbia (four) finished behind Colorado Burgundy.
Team Arizona (10) and Team Missouri White (10) ended up on top in Colorado White’s eight-team division followed by Team Florida (nine). Colorado White (seven), Team San Diego (six), Team Utah (three), Team North Dakota (three) and Team Oregon (zero) followed the leaders.
“All of our kids have been talked to and recruited by junior, AAA or college teams,” said Jeremy Sims, president of the Colorado Prep Hockey League. “This tournament is a great way to showcase the talent Colorado offers at the high school level.”
Colorado Burgundy’s leading scorer was Loveland Resurrection Christian School senior forward Garrett Devine. He had four goals and three assists. Jackson Birdsall, a junior forward from Resurrection Christian, had two goals and four assists.
Two players from Arvada Ralston Valley High School also had stellar tournament performances for Colorado Burgundy. Junior forward Jack Steffer had three goals and two assists and junior defenseman Stefan Fruhwirth posted five assists.
Also on the Burgundy team were goalies Jack Friedman, Scout Stalcup and Dylan Wheeler, along with defensemen Austin Brodie, Mac Lyons, Lukas Mayer, Kodie Ridgley, Bobby Smith and Chris Kiser and forwards William Bostwick, Franny Churches, Ben Lepper, Joe LoSasso, Chris Sherrill, Charles Stewart and Bryce Sullivan.
Dalton Klein, a senior forward from Littleton Heritage High School, had two goals and four assists for the Colorado White team. Thornton Horizon High School senior forward Andrew Garcia had three goals and two assists and Lafayette Centaurus High School senior forward Chance Ubel notched two goals and two assists.
Making up the rest of the Colorado White team were goalies Friedman and Stalcup, defensemen Michael Gibson, Jack Lebar, Damon Maruska, Shane McGregor, Justyn Middlebrook and Tanner Plotkowski and forwards Keegan Barker, Niklas Ertle, Christopher Kiser, Parker McDonald, Rory Scott and Alex Tarr.
Win or lose, going to America’s Showcase each year is an exceptional experience for a variety of reasons, Sims said.
This year was no exception.
“The kids had a great time,” he said. “We attended a Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game one night with both teams. Our guys enjoy getting to know kids from across the state and compete against some of the top high school players in the country.
“We get more and more interest in our teams every year because the tournament is such a great experience for the players.”
More than 50 games are played over the tournament’s five-day run. Coaches can watch games in-person or go online to www.FASTHockey.com.
— Steve Stein