The Dallas Stars Elite Girls U16-Tier 1 team advanced to the finals and won the CCM World Invite hockey tournament in Detroit, Michigan by upsetting nationally ranked 5th place team Little Caesar’s 3-2.
The tournament was held November 10-12, and featured top teams from the USA and Canada. Before the finals, the team won four of five games, with their only loss to Little Caesars (1-4), who they would meet again in the Championship game. They defeated the Canadian Waterloo Ravens (3-1), Chicago Fury (5-0), Team Illinois (3-0) and the St. Louis Blues (1-0) in the semi-finals.
The Dallas Stars Elite Girls have shown great success against the top teams in the nation. Two weeks prior, the team placed 2nd out of 28 top North American teams in the Two Nations tournament, also held in Detroit.
Head coach, Mike Salekin commented on the great start to the season: “The CCM Championship and Two Nations second place finish was a complete team effort with all 19 girls contributing the success. The girls have worked hard since the start of the season in August, battling through adversity and buying into the team process. It was nice to see them get rewarded for their hard work and sacrifice. I have been hearing from several NCAA coaches and opposing coaches that our team plays fast and are tough to keep up with. This is a great compliment to the girls and organization considering we put so much emphasis on skating development. ”
The success would not be possible without the support of the Texas hockey community. Coach Salekin commented on the growth of girls hockey in Texas, saying “The community including the Dallas Stars, TAHA and the DSTHL have gone above and beyond in supporting the female hockey growth in Texas. It all starts with the leadership the Dallas Stars have provided the Texas female hockey player. At a young level, the Dallas Stars and Dr Pepper StarCenters are providing a variety of female specific learn-to-play programs. The ice-time and player development environment that is provided to the Dallas Stars Elite Girls program is now as good as anyone in North America. The Dallas Stars Travel Hockey League has also provided the opportunity for all the Elite girls to play against predominantly male teams which has been great for the girls’ development.”
The Dallas Stars Elite Girls currently have two girls committed to play collegiate hockey at Brown and Yale and the organization expects many more to come with the continued support of the Texas Hockey Community.