Sharks Sports & Entertainment’s Sharks Ice family of ice rink facilities have been awarded the 2015 USA Hockey Tier I Boys National Championships, the premier USA Hockey national tournament for boys aged 14-18. The tournament will feature three age groups (14, 16, 18) and be played at Sharks Ice facilities in April of 2015.
It is the first time the Boys Tier 1 championships have ever been awarded to the west.
The San Jose Jr. Sharks have been members of the North American Prospects Hockey League (NAPHL) since the league's inception back in 2009. The NAPHL holds an annual West Showcase event at Sharks Ice in San Jose. As the hosts, the Jr. Sharks team that compete in the NAPHL at the 18U and 16U levels will receive an automatic bid to the tournament.
The majority of games will be played at Sharks Ice at San Jose, with select games to be held at Sharks Ice at Fremont.
A total of 48 teams (16 in each age group) will participate. The tournament will feature USA Hockey District champions from across the country. Teams are composed of the best-of-the-best male hockey players in the United States at the 14, 16, and 18-year-old levels.
“We are honored to be the first facility on the west coast to host this prestigious event,” Vice President, Sharks Ice & Worcester Sharks Jon Gustafson said. “USA Hockey’s selection of Sharks Ice at San Jose shows that the rest of the country acknowledges California as a hockey hotbed. This is a fantastic opportunity for our kids, families, facilities, and city to showcase our world class amenities and prove to everyone that San Jose is Hockey Town 2.0.”
Sharks Ice has hosted five USA Hockey National Tournaments in the past, including the 2007 Girls’ and Women’s USA Hockey Championships. The most recent tournament was held in March and April of 2013 when the nation’s best women’s teams skated into San Jose for the 2013 USA Hockey Girls’ and Women’s Tier I & II National Championships. The tournament drew thousands of participants, family, friends, and spectators and generated a substantial economic boom for the city of San Jose. Over 100 participating teams came to the city, stayed in local hotels, and generated revenue for local businesses and restaurants.
Sharks Sports & Entertainment’s Sharks Ice at San Jose, a state of the art facility with four NHL-sized rinks under one roof, is the largest ice sports facility west of the Mississippi and one of the few facilities in the United States capable of hosting such an event. The facility is the second-largest booker of hotel nights in San Jose, behind only the McEnery Convention Center, and expects to provide over 10,000 room-nights in 2013. It is open 364 days a year from 5:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m. and welcomed 1.5 million customers to its facilities in 2012.
In total, USA Hockey will have five ice sheets available for the tournaments with an additional one NHL surface at Sharks Ice at Fremont.
According to USA Hockey, the Sharks Ice adult hockey program is the largest adult hockey program in the entire country with over 3,740 registered participants. Sharks Ice also currently makes up 28% of all USA Hockey registered players in the state of California.
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 players 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 organization.
(Nathan can be reached at email@example.com)