Richland Rangers Peewee Team Wins Big Sky State Games

The Montana Magicians, the Richland Rangers peewee team won the Big Sky State Games held March 24-26 on the Richland Ranger's home ice in Sidney.

The State Games are a 3 on 3 team tournament. Each game has 25 minutes of run-time with cross-ice because during if two games were played at the same time. The teams were smaller in number than the usual games and the kids set up the members of the team to play. It was their job to figure out who would be best to play. They were allowed seven skaters and one goalie per team. The tournament started with pool play to see whether they would be seated in the bracket. There were five teams in the Peewees division, so they played four games on the first day. They won all four games on Saturday, which put them in first position. The bracket games were played on Sunday morning and they played the Dickinson Night Kings. It was a very close game, and they ended up defeating the Night Kings 4-3 in the last few minutes. They then had to play the Williston Polar Bears for the championship. The game was another close one and they won 6-4.

There is no qualifying for the Big Sky State Games. It is a competition where anyone can sign up to compete in the games. The Peewee level team, the Montana Magicians is comprised of kids aged 11-13. Typically, parents pay for the travel and expenses for games but ones at home help a lot with expenses. The teams are not allowed to use their regular season Richland Rangers team name or jerseys, so they have to create a team name and find jerseys for the team. Some teams get sponsorships from local businesses to help pay for the cost of jerseys or the team entry fee. Parents were asked to help work concessions, clean, run the scoreboards, and do any other things it takes to keep the tournament running.

According to Jessica Price, one of the parents, most of the kids that were in the Magicians this year will move up to the next level of Bantams in the next season. She said, "It was so exciting to see these kids work so hard together and get this win."


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