Craig hockey players set goal of competing overseas | CraigDailyPress.com

Craig hockey players set goal of competing overseas

Garrett Ferguson, Brodey Gutierrez raising funds to play in Europe

Moffat County High School students Brodey Gutierrez, left, and Garrett Ferguson suit up before a practice for the Midget team at Loudy-Simpson Park Ice Arena. They were both invited to participate in the Colorado Premier Hockey Selects Tour in March in Switzerland and are each seeking to raise more than $2,000 to pay for the program's fees.

If all goes according to plan, Moffat County athletes Garrett Ferguson and Brodey Gutierrez will be able to spend part of this spring playing the sport they love in a whole new location.

This fall, Ferguson and Gutierrez were tapped to participate in the Colorado Premier Hockey Selects Tour in mid-March. The program allows high school-age players to compete internationally in Engelberg, Switzerland, against teams from central Europe.

This is actually a reoccurrence for Ferguson, a Moffat County High School senior, who was previously approached about participating, but the first time he was slightly too young to qualify as a freshmen.

At the hockey camp put on by Rocky Mountain Hockey Schools this past October, he was glad to see organizers were still interested in his abilities.

"This year, finally," he said.

Gutierrez, a junior, said he was honored to be among the players chosen for the program, with numerous Craig players selected in past years.

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"I was pretty stoked about it," he said. "I'd seen kids like Ethan O'Mailia get asked, and I was pretty grateful that I did too."

The chance to be privy to a different style of hockey is what both teens look forward to seeing.

"In Europe, they're more of a finesse type, whereas in America it's more physical," Ferguson said. "It'll be a whole new experience with speed, handling and the overall flow of the game."

Playing in another country won't come cheap — the fee for each player is more than $2,000, a number which does not include the travel overseas.

Fundraisers by the boys and their families are in the works, but an additional way to get together the necessary money can be found online.

Each player with the program currently has a donation site at http://www.mytourfundraising.com/content/cph-selects-hockey-tour, a page which is personalized with pictures or videos of themselves on the ice and a description of what the trip will mean to them, provided they are able to raise the cash to go.

"Just looking at all the different styles will be great to see," Gutierrez said of the potential trip.

In the meantime, the pair are focused on their hometown team as the Midget schedule for Craig Youth Hockey Association starts to pick up in the coming weeks.

"I just hope everybody comes out to support us and the whole team," Ferguson said.

Contact Andy Bockelman at 970-875-1793 or abockelman@CraigDailyPress.com or follow him on Twitter @CDP_Sports.

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