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Rocky Mountain District: Dallas Hockey Family Takes Tournament By Storm

By Anthony Perez, 03/23/17, 3:15PM MDT


Three brothers in three different age levels play for Dallas Stars Elite

GILBERT, Ariz. — Hockey can be a family affair.

Sometimes a son or daughter will follow in their parents’ footsteps and take up hockey. Other times, a couple of siblings might both excel in the game. But it’s not often that one parent will have three different sons playing on three different teams at one tournament. But that was exactly the case for Allan Griebenow this past weekend at the USA Hockey Rocky Mountain District Tournament in Gilbert, Arizona.

Griebenow, president of the Dallas Stars Elite Hockey Club, was fully immersed in this weekend’s district tournament action because all three of his sons were all playing for three different Stars clubs.

Nicolas, at TierI 18U, Conner, at Tier I 16U and Phillip, at Tier I 15s, were all in action this past weekend. It’s a lot for their father to take in, but it’s a labor of love.

“It’s interesting when you have a family of three of them,” said the elder Griebenow. “We spend a lot of time, of course, going back and forth from the rinks. At one point in time we did probably 35 trips in the nine months of the season, and of course during the summer.”

Conner, whose Stars team defeated the Colorado Thunderbirds 3-1 to earn a trip to the USA Hockey Youth Tier I 16U National Championships in Pittsburgh, talked about how he and his brothers push each other and help each other succeed.

“We pick each other up, we also motivate each other all the time,” noted Conner, who notched an assist in Sunday’s championship game. “We work out a lot together, we keep pushing each other to the next level.”

His father Allan thinks this attitude among his three sons has been a big key to their success.

“The reason why I think our kids have achieved is because they see each other,” said Allan. “When they were at home as kids, they were playing shinny, they were shooting in the backyard and they kind of pushed each other along. So, being so close in age and also being so interested in hockey, I think that helped them achieve.”

District Champions

Youth Tier I

14U: Rocky Mountain Roughriders

15: Colorado Evolution

16U: Dallas Stars Elite

18U: Thunderbirds

Giem Shines for Thunderbirds

The final youth game of this year’s Rocky Mountain District Tournament was the Youth Tier I 18U championship contest between the Colorado Thunderbirds and the Rocky Mountain Roughriders, a game that was highlighted by the goaltending of Thunderbirds backstop Jonah Giem.

Giem made 48 saves to help his team earn a 2-1 overtime win that allowed them to punch their ticket to Pittsburgh for Nationals.

“Jonah has been, and our goaltending has been, the backbone of our team,” said head coach Kelly Hollingshead after Sunday afternoon’s championship game. “We know we have the best defense, he’s our best penalty killer and he proved it again this weekend. I think he faced over 240 shots in four games and we came out victorious.”

After giving up four goals on 28 shots in the Thunderbirds’ first game of the tournament on Friday, he held the opposition to just one goal in his team’s following three games. Giem credited his teammates in front of him for a lot of his success in those three games.

“It’s not just me, it’s the teamwork,” said Giem. “Everyone came together, everyone did their job and we just found a way and finished.”

In other action

In the Youth Tier I 15-year-old bracket, Ilya Usau notched a hat trick to help lead the Colorado Evolution past the Colorado Thunderbirds 7-3 in a contest that saw a combined 84 penalty minutes between the two teams.

In the Tier I 14U bracket, Trace Norwell scored the game-winning goal early in overtime as the Rocky Mountain Roughriders defeated the Arizona Bobcats, 3-2.

Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.

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2017 USA Hockey National Championship Sites

Division Location Host Dates
Youth Tier I (14U) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (15-year-olds only) Scottsdale, Arizona Arizona Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier I (16U, 18U) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Pittsburgh Penguins Elite April 6-10, 2017
Girls Tier I Rochester/Macomb, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Women's A, B, C Rochester/Macomb, Michigan HoneyBaked Hockey Club April 6-9, 2017
High School Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Suburban Hockey March 22-26, 2017
Girls Tier II Troy, Michigan Troy Youth Hockey Association April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (14U) Coral Springs, Florida Florida Panthers Ice Den April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (16U) Frisco, Texas Texas Amateur Hockey April 6-10, 2017
Youth Tier II (18U) Lansing, Michigan Lansing Hockey Club April 6-10, 2017
Sled San Jose, California Sharks Ice April 6-9, 2017
Adult Rec Men's Wesley Chapel, Florida Florida Hospital Center Ice April 20-23, 2017
Adult Rec Women's Ellenton, Florida Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex April 27-30, 2017