An already big hockey weekend in the Pikes Peak region starts strong with the opening games Presidents Day Tournament on Thursday.
The longtime event drew 106 youth teams, 78 from outside Colorado, to the area.
“The field looks great this year,” said Brian Copeland, president of the Colorado Springs Amateur Hockey Association, which is hosting the largest of its three annual tournaments Feb. 13-17.
But even one of the largest youth tournaments in Colorado will take a back seat on Saturday.
Everything shuts down for the NHL Stadium Series outdoor game Saturday night between the Los Angeles Kings and the host Colorado Avalanche at the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium. The Kings roster will likely include former Pikes Peak Miner forward and two-time Stanley Cup champion Trevor Lewis.
Pregame festivities start at 1 p.m. with fans able to pose for pictures with the Stanley Cup outside the football venue. The game starts at 6 p.m. and will be broadcast by NBC.
“This year we'll essentially pause the (Presidents Day) tournament on Saturday afternoon so all the families wanting to can attend (the NHL Stadium Series outdoor game).”
— Brian Copeland,
Colorado Springs Amateur
Hockey Association president
“This year we’ll essentially pause the tournament on Saturday afternoon so all the families wanting to can attend (the outdoor game),” Copeland said.
The Presidents Day tourney features teams from Alaska, California, Colorado, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.
The tournament features single 18U and 16 U brackets, along with four divisions for 14U and 12U and three designated for 10U teams. The games will be held at The Broadmoor World Arena facility, the Pueblo Plaza Ice Arena and the Sertich Ice Center. The semifinals are Sunday and championship games are Monday.
The busy weekend for youth teams continues when area high school rivals Lewis-Palmer and Pine Creek, two of the better teams in the Summit Conference, play Tuesday at 8 p.m. outdoors at Falcon Stadium. Admission is free with doors opening at 7 p.m.
The teams were scheduled to play at a Monument rink on Saturday but jumped at the chance to play outdoors, using Lewis-Palmer coach Scott Bradley’s connections with the Avalanche and the academy (where he played hockey) to line up the game. The high school game was first reported by the Colorado Springs Gazette.
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