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by Lamont Buford / St. Louis Blues

As we all know, St. Louis Hockey is developing into something special. With the likes of Joe Vitale, Cam Janssen, Brandon Bollig and many more representing the state of Missouri in the NHL, the future continues to be bright.

This past youth hockey season, the 14U Affton Americans helped showcase Missouri Hockey once more by shutting out the Alaska All-Stars, 7-0 and earning their second USA Hockey National Championship in a row, for their age division.

“We were ready for this,” said Cameron Cox, who registered a goal and an assist during the championship game. Cox, who was the lone player on the team to compete in back-to-back championships, competed as a 13-year old the year before. Now, a year older year older, he said that he could sense a difference. “It was big. We were bigger, stronger and had more experience.”

In five games, the Americans outscored their opponents 49 to 4. This Affton group focused on doing what they did best all season long, and that was to out skate their opponents, emphasizing their team speed as well as their individual skill set. Playing this style of hockey helped them finish the season with a record of 49-15-2 overall record, including a 25-1-1 record in the Central States Development League.

Head Coach Matt Ocello said his team was excited to be there…“our team really came together and peaked at the right time”. At the final buzzer the players rushed their goaltender, Johnny Massara, who turned aside all 12 of the shots he faced in the final. Several minutes after the medal ceremony, players, coaches, family and friends enjoyed the moment a little longer.

So the bar has been set again for the upcoming season. Who will be the next team to showcase the great state of Missouri and the talent that lives within?

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