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The Utah Lady Grizzlies Hockey Team recently won the Rocky Mountain District 19 and Under championship in Dallas to earn a spot in the Toyota-USA Hockey Girls tier II National Championships that begins March 26 in Lansing, Michigan.

The Utah team, made up of 14 players from Utah ranging in ages from 14 to 18 years old, beat teams from Arizona and Colorado to earn the championship game.

According to Derrick Radke, team manager for the Utah Lady Grizzlies, the players were selected from a tryout process. They have been practicing and playing together since August of 2014.

"This is truly an exceptional group of young athletes," said coach Stan Weiss. "Not only are their hockey skills, commitment and focus exceptional, but their trust and belief in each other is truly fantastic. I've been coaching a long time and I've only coached one other team like this before, but it was a boys' team. These girls are awesome. They have fun together. They love the game of hockey. They work hard. And they love one another."

The team won the Silver Stick Tournament in Westminster, Colo,; the Okotoks Female Hockey Classic in Calgary, the Polar Bear Classic in Hartford, Conn.; the San Jose, Calif., MLK Tournament, and the Northern Rockies Classic in Missoula, Mont., leading to Dallas.

In Dallas, 15-year-old Sarah Cahill scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over the Arizona Lady Coyotes. Mina Maciunas scored a hat trick to lead Utah to a 4-3 win over the Rocky Mountain Lady Rough Riders from Westminster, Colo.

The Colorado Selects of Littleton, Colo., then beat the Lady Grizzlies 2-1; The Grizzlies gained revenge for that loss, however, in the championship game against the Colorado Selects. goalie Sami Zvoniovic recorded a shutout as the Utah team took a 3-0 victory.

— Tom Wharton