Team USA and Team Atlantic Crowned 2017 Desert Cup Champions

(Las Vegas, NV) – Some of North America’s best 2002-2004 born ice hockey players competed for gold in the 2017 Desert Cup championship games at the Las Vegas Ice Center in Nevada on Friday. After a week of intense competition, Team Atlantic (2002/03 Division) and Team USA (2004 Division) were awarded gold medals.

The fourth annual tournament saw over 120 top players compete in Sin City from Monday, July 3 to Friday, July 7. Players travelled from nearly every region in North America to attend the select tournament; from Canadian and Northeastern U.S. hockey hotbeds to emerging markets including Nevada, Arizona, and Los Angeles.

In addition to the team awards, several players were recognized for their individual accomplishments during the week-long showcase, including:

  • Top Forwards: Cameron Bauer (Buffalo, NY) & Anthony Yu (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Top Defencemen: Drake Hamilton (Dallas, TX) & Nolan Matthews (Whitehorse, YT)
  • Top Goalies: Luke Fundator (Las Vegas, NV) & Ethan Jim (Chandler, AZ)
  • Championship Game MVPs: Aidan Wiseman (New Jersey) & Anthony Yu (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Bronze Medal Game MVPs: Steven Li (Mississauga, ON) & Matthew Doherty (New Jersey, NJ)

“The 2017 Desert Cup was another fine example of the rapid growth of ice hockey in North America,” commented founder Brad Bricknell. “I’d like to thank the City of Las Vegas and the LVIC for helping us in our goal of showcasing the next generation of elite hockey players.”

In addition to the competition on the ice, players received instruction from tournament coaches including former National Hockey League standout Eric Lacroix, pro players Noel Rubin and Jason Payne, top junior hockey executives Mike Oke, Dino Caputo, and more. Each team was also assigned a mentor, including Ontario Hockey League champion Troy Timpano and RBC Cup champion Jake Bricknell.