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Fundraiser being held for local hockey team invited to compete in national tournament

The Idaho Falls high school varsity hockey team. | Courtesy Ernest Keeley
IDAHO FALLS — The Idaho Falls high school varsity hockey team will represent Idaho in an upcoming national tournament, and a fundraiser is being held to help get the team there.
The team is part of the Idaho Falls Youth Hockey Association, a volunteer, nonprofit organization founded in 1964. The program includes hockey players from all over the region from the age of four to seniors in high school.
The high school varsity team will be playing in the USA Hockey-Chipotle National Championship in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The event runs from March 20 to 24.
“I am really excited for these young men to go represent Idaho at the USA Hockey High School National Tournament,” head coach Chris Street said. “Most of these players have been playing hockey since they were 4 years of age, practicing from September to March up to three times a week, with countless tournaments on the weekends. I am happy all their hard work has paid off, and they have the opportunity to compete against some of the best high school programs in the nation.”
The varsity team features 14 skaters and two goalies. The team’s athletes are from Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Shelley, Firth, Rigby and Mackay.
Tallene Smith, high school team manager, said they submitted a bid to go to nationals in early November. They found out in January that the varsity team was selected to represent Idaho as part of the Rocky Mountain District, which also consists of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah.
Smith said that up to 48 teams compete in the tournament. She said a few teams are selected from each of the 12 USA hockey districts to compete at nationals.
“To have our team invited to the U.S. nationals tournament is a huge compliment and speaks to the work every single player has dedicated to the team,” team captain and senior Peter Molino said. “This team is full of players who stand out on their own, but when put together? (We’re) unstoppable.”

The Idaho Falls high school varsity hockey team celebrating after winning a championship game. | Courtesy Holly Molino
To raise money to help with the fees associated with taking the team to nationals, the Idaho Falls Youth Hockey Association, in partnership with the Greater Idaho Falls Police Foundation is holding a fundraiser. The Guns N’ Hoses Fundraiser Hockey Game is being held at Hero Arena inside the Mountain America Center on March 6 at 6:15 p.m.
“Youth skaters from the region will be hitting the ice representing the police department and the fire department,” Smith said. “All proceeds with be split 50/50 between IFYHA and the police foundation.”
“All the team’s hardworking mindset and determination has paid off to get us one step closer to the ultimate goal of being the next national champions,” said Paylen Bruley, the team’s assistant captain. “The more support the community gives us, the more drive we have to bring the title back to Idaho Falls.”
Tickets for the fundraiser are $10 and can be purchased at the venue’s Bingham Healthcare Box Office or by clicking here.

Captain Peter Molino and assistant captain Paylen Bruley rally their team at the end of a practice. | Courtesy Ernest Keeley
The post Fundraiser being held for local hockey team invited to compete in national tournament appeared first on East Idaho News.

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