Team Copper Country is back-to-back Tier 2 18U National Champs
Team Copper Country shows off its new national championship hardware that it can add to last year’s haul.
Team Copper Country is the best Tier 2 Midget AA squad in this country … again.
The team (29-1-2), which is based in the Houghton-Hancock area of the Upper Peninsula, won its second consecutive USA Hockey 18U Tier 2 Division 3A National Championship with a 5-1 win over the Wonderland Wizards of Bridgeport, CT, on Monday, April10, at the Cornerstone Community Ice Center in Ashwaubenon, WI.
“This is really special,” Team CC forward Ted Randell told Red Line Editorial, Inc. “I’m done with this team. I’m moving on to Junior hockey, so it’s awesome to go back-to-back. That’s two under my belt, and it feels really good.”
Dawson McKay, Colton Salani, Brent Loukus, Randell and Brendan Erickson scored for Copper Country, which had 50 shots on goal.
“Until today, I didn’t feel confident about this year,” coach Miach Stipech said. “There’s always things we need to improve upon. But the way they played today, this was the best game of the year – their effort level and their execution.”
Wonderland tried to be physical with Team CC.
“We thought with the smaller rink we could slow them down a little bit because we played them on the Olympic rink,” Wizards coach Ben Vaill said. “But we couldn’t stop them.”
That previous game was in the round robin, two days before, when Wonderland rallied from a two-goal, third period deficit to tie it and send the contest into overtime. Ultimately Team Copper Country, which went 6-0 in the national tournament, won a seven-round shootout to win the game, 4-3.
Salani and McKay scored in the second period before Thomas Richter put Wonderland on the board with a penalty-shot goal with 16:26 left in the third period.
But Loukus, Randell and Erickson scored later in the third period.
“We came back,” Randell said. “We’re like. ‘All right , boys, no matter what happens we keep battling. No matter if they score, we’re going to keep going.’ We did that, and came back with a couple of goals.”
Stipech was proud to bring another national championship to the Upper Peninsula.
“I feel great for the kids and our community,” he said. “I really feel great for the Copper Country.”
Members of Team Copper Country Tier 2 18U AA team are Tanner Givens, Brent Loukus, Theodore Perrault, Kevin Bostwick, Dawson McKay, Taavi Rajala, Ed Beiring, Alex Nordstrom, Brody Budweg, Ted Randell, Colton Salani, Lance Kangas, Rory Anderson, Jacob Kruse, Trevor Johnson, Tommy Randell, Jack Sturos, Jed Pietila, William Stier and Dawson Kero.