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Sports & Rec

South Dakota youth hockey team wins national title

220404 Team SD National Champions.jpg
Courtesy photo
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Tiffany Sanderson

South Dakota’s team of 14-and-under hockey players defeated the Alaska Oilers 6-3 to win the 2022 USA Hockey Tier II 14U National Championship on Monday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This is the first national championship for a 14U hockey team from South Dakota.

Carter Sanderson plays forward for Team South Dakota and scored two goals.

“I wouldn’t want to do it with any other group of guys. It feels great to be able to represent South Dakota this well,” Sanderson said. “I’m just waiting to get back and celebrate with everybody else.”

Colton Merchen also plays forward and scored in the third period. He spoke about the team's approach to the tournament and the championship game.

“Throughout this tournament, during the games, there were a lot of highs and a lot of lows. You’ve just got to learn to find that happy medium to fight through both of them,” he said. “You can’t get too satisfied until you’re done with the whole tournament. I feel like we did a pretty good job of that – managing the lows and celebrating the highs, but not celebrating too hard until the end.”

Statistics from the game are available online.