The Kalamazoo Optimist Hockey Association (KOHA), hosts of the National Championship Tournament, will welcome 40 teams from across the country – approximately 700 participants – who will compete for a National Championship. “We are extremely honored to have been chosen to host a USA Hockey National Championship – especially with this being our first-ever bid for an event of this magnitude,” says Frank Noonan, KOHA’s Executive Director. “It’s a fantastic way to end our 55th season.”
Three-Game Round Robin Divisional: April 2-4
Quarter & Semi Finals: April 5
Championship Game: April 6 at Wings Event Center
Greenleaf Hospitality Group and Discover Kalamazoo Sports are proud partners of KOHA and the upcoming tournament. “Kalamazoo is no stranger to hosting prestigious youth sports events and national championships in our community,” says Brian Persky, Director of Sports Event Development, Discover Kalamazoo. “We’re looking forward to once again showing off the community on a national stage,” added Persky, “and we know people are going to really enjoy their time here, on and off the rink in the Kalamazoo area.”
Wings Event Center and Wings West have hosted countless hockey tournaments over the years, but are excited to partner with KOHA in hosting an event of this scale. “We’re proud to support these local organizations in their efforts to encourage and promote youth sports in the Kalamazoo area,” says Sarah Olszowy, VP of Marketing for Greenleaf Hospitality Group, parent company to Wings Event Center & Wings West.
The 14U AA K-Wings roster of 18 includes players from the following school districts: Kalamazoo, Portage, Mattawan, Gull Lake, Vicksburg, Schoolcraft, Three Rivers, Plainwell, Galesburg/Augusta, Wyoming, and Harper Creek.
Former Minnesota North Stars (NHL) draft pick, Dean Kolstad leads this season’s 14U AA K-Wings national-bound team. Kolstad spent 10 years playing professional hockey, including time with the North Stars and the San Jose Sharks before becoming a PGA golf professional. He is the Director of Golf for the Gull Lake View Golf Resort and has made Kalamazoo home for 30 years