America won, for a change.
Normally dominated by top-level Canadian youth programs, the 30th annual Brick Invitational — an Edmonton-based tournament comprised of teams from the United States and Canada — was claimed by the Connecticut Junior Rangers Elite AAA Club, which shocked the bracket and became the first team from the States to win the tournament in 17 years.
Coincidentally, the Junior Rangers were the last American team to win it, back in 2002 when they were known as the Connecticut Junior Yankees. This year, they also became just the fourth-ever American team to win the tournament.
“It was an unbelievable experience for the kids and parents involved,” CJR Brick head coach Jeff Hamilton said. “To be honest, our chances headed into it were slim. Beforehand, I told the parents that this tournament is nearly impossible for an American team to win. It speaks volumes about how the kids have performed and bought in to the process. The kids earned it.”