USA Hockey Magazine

April / May 2018

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Page 23 of 48

U C K E D A W AY I N T H E U P P E R P E N I N S U L A O F M I C H I G A N are three communities that live and die with hockey. The towns of Houghton, Hancock and Calumet— separated by 15 miles—have been facing off against one anoth- er since the 1890s. The rivalries are as fierce as they are steeped in history. "Each school has a ton of pride and takes hockey very seriously," says Micah Stipech, who coached Team Copper Country to its second straight title at this year's Chipotle-USA Hockey Tier II 18 & Under National Championship tourna- ment in Green Bay, Wis. When the boys gathered last fall to start its split season team, the group included eight players from Hancock, five from Calumet, and four from Houghton, along with three from other high schools. Players who are rivals during the high school season suddenly transform into best friends as teammates. When winter rolls around, the players head back to their high school teams. And like a switch, the rivalries are flipped back on. t NATIONAL championships New Gold 22 // APRIL/MAY 2018 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM IS THE Copper by GREG BATES Prep Rivals Put Differences Aside To Come Together For National Championship Run

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