For six seasons, the Founder's Cup has provided the hockey community with an exceptional tournament experience after the Christmas holiday, the 2020 version of the tournament was no exception.
24 teams made their way south to Rochester for a full weekend of games and memories, occupying the Graham Arena Complex for three full days of outstanding performances.
From individual players breaking scoring records, to the greatest comeback in Youth Hockey Hub tournament history, to the tournament's first repeat champion, this year's Founder's Cup fulfilled all expectations and then some.
Andrew O'Neill of Fargo Freeze Black broke the Founder's Cup scoring record with 14 goals and 19 points in five games.
Roseville Peewee A
Since the merger of Alexander Ramsey High School and Kellogg High in the early 1990s, the Roseville Area Youth Hockey Association has donned the classic color scheme of black, silver, and white. Crisp, clean, unimpeachable.
However, glory demands boldness. The Roseville Peewee A team brought out a beautiful red uniform in Rochester, no doubt a nod to the name of the city that houses the association. The result was an eye-catching combination that ran away with the YHH staff's pick for the best uniform.
Honorable Mention: St. Louis Park
Orange sweaters with a classic Oriole logo. Always a winner.
Jake Villella and the Roseville PWA team pulled out the red uniforms in Rochester.
For the past two years, Homewood Suites has been the end-of-the-day headquarters for the Youth Hockey Hub Staff. While spending 12-16 hours at the arena is the norm for the YHH tournament staff, having a clean hotel room with the best of everything is a welcome sight for sore (and tired) eyes. Thank you to the Homewood Suites staff for hosting us, and we hope to see you again on our next adventure to Rochester.
Centerstone Inn and Suites
Skate sharpening at the hotel? A shuttle for both parents and players? It's a wonder that every team isn't clamoring for a spot at the Centerstone for the Founder's Cup. In addition to its accessible location to both the arena and downtown Rochester, the Centerstone provides all the amenities that a hockey family could need for a hassle-free weekend.
Shakopee 7, St. Louis Park 6 (OT)
Youth Hockey Hub tournaments have a rule that when a lead reaches five goals, the clock will run continuously. After years of testing different methods of limiting the amount of scoring damage one team can do to another, the clock runs at any point a lead reaches five goals.
In the first period of Shakopee and St. Louis Park's semifinal battle, this rule went into effect in the first period as the Sabers jumped to a 5-0 lead over the Orioles to put the game into running time.
After a players-only huddle in the far corner of the rink, the Orioles rattled off six goals in the second period to take a 6-5 lead entering the third. The Graham Arena complex buzzed with the word - the Orioles were on the verge of completing one of the greatest comebacks in YHH tournament history.
Shakopee tied the game with seconds remaining in regulation and would win in overtime, and the heart and tenacity showcased by both teams made this one a night to remember.
Shakopee's Cole Bumgarner scored the game-tying goal as the Sabers rebounded for a 7-6 (OT) win after surrendering a 5-0 lead to St. Louis Park in the semifinals.
|Boston Collins||Forward||Rochester A|
|Leonardo Colombo||Defense||Orono A|
|Luca DeCubellis||Forward||Orono AA|
|Finnegan Fogarty||Forward||Northern Lakes|
|Tyler Hand||Defense||Rogers A|
Maddox Domagala, Luverne PWA.
Rochester Youth Hockey Association Volunteers
There are more than a dozen reasons to love hosting a tournament in Rochester. Four sheets of ice under one roof, wifi, hotels nearby, an easy drive, etc.
The best reason, however, is the level of hospitality bestowed upon the entire event by the volunteers with the Rochester Youth Hockey Association. From the food provided in the hospitality room to the box workers, to the arena staff more than willing to offer any assistance, Graham Arena is one of the most welcoming tournament environments in the state.
Henry Lechner, Bloomington Jefferson.
|Jack Betzer||St. Louis Park||Defense|
|Andrew O'Neill||Fargo Black||Forward|
|Junior Podein||St. Louis Park||Forward|
Brock Alberts, Woodbury.