NOVA 14U UA Wins Bantam A2 Division at the Chicago Mid-Winter Classic
January 19-21, 2019 -- The NOVA 14U UA team travelled to Chicago, IL and secured a Championship in the Bantam A2 division at the Chicago Mid-Winter Classic. The Ice Dogs opened the tournament on Saturday in a strong manner, by taking it to the Orland Park Vikings (IL) (3-2) and the St. Peters Spirit (MO) (3-1). On Sunday, the Ice Dogs faced the California Heat (CA) and had a convincing win (6-0), followed by a well-deserved break. Monday saw the Ice Dogs take on the Chicago Bruins (IL) in an early game (6-3), to close the round-robin stage 4-0-0 and secure First Place and a spot in the Championship game. The Ice Dogs came ready to play the finals and faced the California Heat (CA) once again. The 14U UAs were flying from the first puck drop to the final buzzer, facing a physical game that did not disrupt their fluid style of play. The Ice Dogs led throughout the game and went on to win 4-1 and secure the Championship undefeated!
The 14U UA team drew their inspiration for the tournament from a visit prior to their first game with John J. “Jack” O'Callahan, a member of the 1980 Winter Olympics United States national team that upset the Soviet Union in the “Miracle on Ice” game. O'Callahan went on to play 390 NHL regular season games (1982-1989) for the Chicago Blackhawks and the New Jersey Devils and also made appearances for the United States national team at the 1979 and 1989 Ice Hockey World Championship tournaments. During their mid-tournament break on Sunday, the Ice Dogs watched the Washington Capitals take on the Chicago Blackhawks at the United Center, where they met with Christos Kostas “Chris” Chelios, one of the longest tenured players in the NHL and a three-time Stanley Cup champion (one with the Montreal Canadiens and two with the Detroit Red Wings). Chelios played in the NHL for the Montreal Canadiens, the Chicago Blackhawks, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Atlanta Thrashers.