Over the Christmas holiday, one local Cedar Springs student, Mitch Hawes, of Cedar Springs Middle School, who plays on the Kentwood Falcons Bantam A travel hockey team, had the rare and enjoyable experience of receiving an invitation to play in the prestigious Wayne Gretzky International Hockey Tournament in Brantford, ON, Canada.
This is a select tournament of teams made up of 14 & 15 year-olds—all except for Mitch and his Kentwood Falcon team who are made up of 12 & 13 year-olds. Not only were they playing against top-notch competition, but older boys as well. They finished initial pool play in 2nd place, which qualified them for the semi finals. They were one of the final 4 teams, and the only American team to advance this far in the tournament (in any age bracket). Over 100 teams in various age brackets were invited to this tournament. Unfortunately, they lost in the semi-final game to Norway (all 15 year olds) by a score of 3-1.
This was quite an accomplishment for this young team and an incredible international experience for all!