Six teams representing three junior hockey leagues sanctioned by the American Athletic Union will compete for a national championship in Las Vegas this week.
From this area, Traverse City Hounds will represent the Midwest Jr. Hockey League as champions from the 2013-2014 season. And Soo Firehawks, who lost to Traverse City in the league finals, are representing the MWJHL as its second seed.
Other teams vying for the AAU national itle are the Jersey Shore Wildcats and AHI Fighting Spirit of the Northern States Hockey League and the El Paso Rhinos and Idaho Steelheads of the Western States Hockey League.
Traverse City is coached by former Ontario Hockey League center Scott Gardiner, who skated with the Belleville Bulls and Windsor Spitfires from 1981 to 1984.
Coached by Joe Esson, the Soo team features several local players including high-scoring forward Cody Anderson and top defenceman Matthew Majic.