The Squirt team is off to the state tournament after winning the league championship.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — For the first time in more than 10 years, the Northern Berkshire Youth Hockey League is sending a team to the state championship tournament.
On Thursday, supporters held a pep rally to kick off the Squirt level team as it heads to Quincy this weekend for the tournament. According to coach Guy Cariddi, in the league's 46 years of existence, only a few Northern Berkshire teams have won the state tournament.
"The kids worked really hard to get there," Cariddi said.
The U10 team went undefeated in league play, finishing at 15-0. They then went onto the playoffs, going 2-0 to win the championship in Troy, N.Y. Now they face Nantucket on Friday and Winchester and Stoneham on Saturday before the semifinals and finals on Sunday,
Mayor Richard Alcombright told the young players not to worry about going undefeated, but rather just winning the next game. Cariddi said the players need to "play our game" and to "shoot, shoot, shoot some more." But, more importantly, they should have fun.
"You didn't go 15-0 on accident," Alcombright said.
To help them along, the coaching staff presented the team with a good luck charm. When the Boston Bruins were in the Stanley Cup Finals, Forward Nathan Horton took some of the melted down ice from the T.D. Garden and sprayed it on the ice in Vancouver as a good luck charm. The Bruins won the game and the championship.
Following that, the Bruins bottled up the rest of the water from that Boston ice and delivered bottles to every youth hockey rink in the state — including the Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink.
"We're going to pour it out on the rink in Chelsea," Cariddi said.
State Rep. Gailanne Cariddi also helped rally the players, telling them that she is confident that they will win the championship.
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