As first-timers in the tournament, Team Colorado had some stiff competition in its four-team group. It included Little Caesars, a perennial hockey power out of the Detroit area. The group also featured a team from hockey-crazed Minnesota and the New Jersey Colonials, another regular name at USA Hockey national tournaments.

The first two games were a rude awakening for Team Colorado. Its tournament run started with an 8-1 loss to Little Caesars and was followed with a 5-1 loss to the Minnesota Lakers. The back-to-back losses put Team Colorado out of contention for the national championship. 

Photo by SportsEngine

Photo by SportsEngine

"It was good for the kids to go and see that competition. It caught them off guard. It was good for them to be caught off guard in the sense that next year they won’t be so surprised."

- Karen Rickard, Team Colorado 14U coach