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Kelly cousins play in CCM National Invitational Hockey Tournament

Drew Kelly1 / 2
Reed Kelly2 / 2

The Kelly cousins, Drew and Reed, got a rare hockey opportunity by playing in the CCM National Invitational Tournament last week. The tournament features some of the top high school hockey players in the nation.

Even more rare was the fact that the Kellys got to play against each other in the tournament. Drew Kelly, a Somerset High School senior, played on the Wisconsin Senior team. Reed Kelly, an SHS junior, played for the Wisconsin HP-18 team that includes many of the top Wisconsin high school non-senior players.

Somerset varsity coach Dan Gilkerson was one of the coaches for the Wisconsin Senior team. Mike Connor of Somerset was the general manager for both Wisconsin teams. The tournament was played on April 24-27 at the Plymouth Ice Center in Plymouth, Minn.

It was a highly successful tournament for both Wisconsin squads. They ended up meeting in the third place game of the tournament, which the Wisconsin Senior team won 3-1.

Gilkerson said that Drew Kelly played extremely well for the Wisconsin Senior squad. Kelly was part of the team’s six-man rotation on defense. By the end of the tournament, Kelly had advanced to getting regular shifts on Wisconsin’s power play and penalty kill.

By the end of the tournament, Kelly was receiving plenty of attention from scouts representing junior hockey organizations. Gilkerson said there were scouts and coaches everywhere at the tournament, representing junior teams, college programs and the National Hockey League.

The Wisconsin Seniors opened the tournament with a 13-1 win over the Michigan HP-18 team. In the second day of the tournament the Wisconsin Seniors topped North Dakota 6-3. The Wisconsin Seniors faced the Minnesota HP-18 team, in the semifinals, with Minnesota winning 4-3. That moved Wisconsin into the third place game.

The Wisconsin HP-18 team started the tournament by losing to the Minnesota Seniors 5-3. They lost to the Michigan Seniors 4-1 the following day. The Wisconsin HP-18 team mauled Massachusetts 6-0 in the third day of the tournament.

Gilkerson said the tournament was a great experience for Reed Kelly, showing the expectations that are placed upon the players at the top level in the state.

Dave Newman
Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for nearly 30 years.
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