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These Peewees Are Giants

Ice Dawgs Go Undefeated At State, Win It All In OT Championship Game


For The Courier

The Glasgow Ice Dawg Peewees and their coach, Pat Braaten, pose with their championship trophy and banner in Helena last weekend.

One goalie, 10 skaters, five games and a whole lot of heart paved the way to the Montana Amateur Hockey Association State Peewee B Championship for a group of Glasgow Ice Dawg hockey players.

The champs, 11 and 12 years old, entered last weekend's tournament in Helena with a 6-10 record and left it with the championship, going 5-0 and beating Flathead in overtime of the final.

They occupy a nice place in the Glasgow ice program's legacy.

"It was awesome," coach Pat Braaten told The Courier. "Going into the third period of the championship game it was tied 3-3, and in the locker room I told the kids, 'There's no tomorrow and you've got to give everything you've got.'"

Both teams did.

Regulation time ended with the score 5-5. With just a couple of minutes between the third period and sudden death overtime, Braaten needed to fire up his skaters again.

"I told them, 'Now you've got to really dig deep,'" he said.

A pass from Koby Regalado to Ike Braaten sealed the game. Braaten maneuvered into the Flathead zone and scored 16 seconds into overtime for the victory goal.

The Ice Dawg fans – including more than 20 parents of the 11 championship players – had one more chance to get noisy.

"From first game of the season to the last month or so, the kids really started coming around," coach Braaten said. "The kids really peaked at the right time. They wanted it, they really did."

The path to victory was long, but outstanding goalie efforts by Aden Perkins and never-quit attitude from Andre Perkins, Nik Burke, Ike Braaten, Kaden Kummerfeldt, Koby Regalado, Michael Uphues, Kristian Price, Trevor Johnson, Ian Peterson and Gage Siefert brought home the state tourney title.

The Ice Dawgs entered the tourney seeded as the No. 2 team.

In their first game Friday, the Ice Dawgs were matched against the Copper City Kings from Butte. With a solid offense and strong team play, the Ice Dawgs skated to a 15-3 victory against the Kings. All 10 skaters on the team recorded points during the game: Braaten (4 goals, 2 assists), Uphues (3 goals, 1 assist), Price (3 goals, 2 assists), Regalado (2 goals, 2 assists), Kummerfeldt (1 goal, 2 assists), Johnson (1 goal, 1 assist), Siefert (1 goal), Burke (3 assists), Peterson (1 assist), Andre Perkins (1 assist). Aden Perkins stopped 24 of 27 shots from Butte.

On Saturday, the Ice Dawgs were slated for a full schedule as they played three games.

The first game on Saturday matched Glasgow against the Ice Hawks from Havre. Despite a very physical game, the Dawgs skated to a 12-5 victory. Uphues and Braaten recorded four goals each, and one goal was scored by Burke, Price, Regalado and Johnson. Price recorded three assists, while Uphues, Regalado, Burke and Kummerfeldt were credited with single assists. Perkins stopped 30 of 35 shots from the Hawks.

Game 2 on Saturday matched the Ice Dawgs against Helena. In this game, Glasgow managed a 5-1 victory over the Bighorns. Burke recorded three goals during the game, while Braaten and Regalado scored single goals. Uphues, Price and Braaten were credited with one assist. Perkins made 14 saves on 15 shots from the Bighorns.

With a championship berth nearly secured, the Dawgs were pitted for a late Saturday night game against the No. 1 seeded team, the Flathead Flames. It was very likely that this night game would be the precursor to the same two teams perhaps meeting up for the championship game the following day. Although Glasgow had skated two games earlier in the day, the Flames had skated in just one game on Saturday, and this game put the Dawgs' stamina to the test. The Flames were an excellent team, but the Ice Dawgs outpowered Flathead and won 7-5. Goals were scored by Braaten (3), Uphues (2), Price (1) and Johnson (1), with Regalado and Peterson obtaining assists. Perkins recorded 27 saves on 32 shots.

With all preliminary games completed on Saturday, the stage was set for a Glasgow-Flathead rematch for the championship game on Sunday. And what a thriller it was.

The Flames came out hard and drew first blood to take a 1-0 lead. However, Glasgow answered back in the first period as Uphues scored unassisted and Price scored on an assist from Regalado and Uphues. Flathead scored two goals midway through the second period to secure a 3-2 lead, but Braaten knotted the game at 3-3 when he scored unassisted.

Tied going into the third period, both teams knew that they had to dig deep in order to win. The Flames scored early in the period to take a 4-3 lead and the tensions mounted. However, the Flathead goal was matched a few minutes later as Braaten scored on an assist from Uphues. Gaining momentum, the Dawgs took the lead with about 4 minutes remaining as Price scored on an assist from Regalado.

Fighting to stay in the game, the Flames scored late in the third period to tie the game at 5-5. The final minutes of regulation play went scoreless, and the game entered sudden-death overtime.

"Dig deep, young men, and give it all you got!" coach Braaten told the team.

The puck was dropped at center ice and players scrambled to gain control. A last puck-touch from Regalado to Braaten set up the championship winning goal. Braaten skated into the Flathead zone and scored 16 seconds into overtime.

Goalies for both teams played extremely well and came up with big saves. Perkins made 23 saves on 28 shot attempts for the Ice Dawgs.

The efforts of the Peewee Ice Dawgs were rewarded – with a state championship.


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