The tournament, which will be held at Sharks Ice at San Jose, will feature the state champions from across the country. It will begin on Wed., March 30 and carry on through the weekend. The National Champions will be crowned on Sun., April 3.
Competing in the tournament will be 34 teams, divided into three conferences. The conferences will not play each other, creating three champions at the end of the tournament. California will have two representatives. The San Jose Jr. Sharks as host and the California Heat, winner of the California state championship, will both be competing.
The San Jose Jr. Sharks youth hockey organization is dedicated to the development of amateur hockey in the Bay Area. The overall goal is for kids of all ages and skill levels to develop a true and lasting love for the game of hockey. Teaching sportsmanship, leadership, discipline, and respect are the primary objectives of each coach, each team, each parent, and of the Jr. Sharks three operating committees. For more information on the Jr. Sharks team, click on the San Jose Jr. Sharks link at www.sjjrsharks.com
“The Jr. Sharks are extremely excited about bringing the best 12 and under hockey players from around the country to the west coast to compete for the National Championship. Our parents have been working hard for the last 18 months to make sure that this is the best experience possible for the participating players and their families. It is a great chance to not only showcase our players, but the growth youth hockey has had in the Bay Area,” says the Director of Hockey at Sharks Ice at San Jose Tony Zasowski.
Sharks Ice has hosted three National Tournaments prior to this one. The most recent was in 2007, when the USA Hockey girl’s and women’s teams skated into San Jose for their National Championships. The tournament drew thousands of spectators and was a big economic boom for the city of San Jose creating business for local hotels and restaurants.
With teams coming in from all across the country, their family and friends will be booking more than 1,000 hotel rooms in San Jose for the week. Sharks Ice at San Jose is the largest facility west of the Mississippi and one of the few arenas capable of hosting such an event, with four NHL-sized rinks under one roof.
“Sharks Ice and the San Jose Jr. Sharks are honored to be the host of the 12 & Under USA Hockey National Championship. We have had the privilege to host three previous National Tournaments and are looking forward to this one. We are very fortunate to have a venue that is set up for large events plus a wonderful group of club/parent volunteers to make every one of our events special,” says General Manager of Sharks Ice Jon Gustafson.
For further information, schedules, and results on Nationals, please visit the Jr. Sharks website at http://sjjrsharks.com/tournaments/2011-USAH