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Former Colorado College hockey teammates become coaching rivals for a day

February 20, 2017 Updated: February 20, 2017 at 10:52 pm
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The Colorado Springs Jr. Tigers took the championship game over the Sno-King Seattle Thunderbirds in the Pee Wee A Division at the Sertich Ice Center. They won by a narrow 4-3 margin at Sertich Ice Center on Monday, February 20, 2017, making them the champions of the division. (photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

Bragging rights between three Colorado College hockey alumni were won by Peter Geronazzo, much to the dismay of a former teammate and one-day coaching rival.

"He's not the kind of guy that's going to let me forget," said Jason Gudmundson who played with Geronazzo on the 1996 NCAA runner-up team. "I am going to have to hear about this for a while. But we were pulling for it to happen. We all wanted to play each other because the only way we would was in the championship."

The Colorado Springs Junior Tigers edged the Seattle Jr. Thunderbirds 4-3 to win the Peewee A division title at the 40th Presidents Day Tournament, which concluded Monday. The T-Birds were coached by former Tigers goalie Derek Pizzey (1985-89) and Gudmundson (1994-98), who played with Geronazzo (1992-96) for two seasons at CC. More recent alum Dakota Eveland (2010-14) also coached a visiting team.

"It's cool to have old CC guys come back with their kids and show them what (Colorado Springs) is like and relive the tradition," Geronazzo said. "There are a lot of alums who are coaching that look at this tournament as a way to get back here. It's also a fun way to get our kids beating on each other."

The Seattle-area alums took their 12-and-under sons to visit their old school, check out the new facilities and try to convince their sons they were once as young as the students they saw on campus.

The kids may not have been convinced, but the dads had fun catching up with each other.

"It's fun to come back and watching the program continue to grow," Pizzey said. "It was four of the best years of my life. It means a lot to come back because (CC) set me up where I am now."

It wasn't just the fathers enjoying themselves.

"My wife (Kirsten) is a CC grad so to be able to take the kids out on campus and show them where we used to live was fun," Gudmundson said. "(Niklas and 8-year-old son Bobby) got to meet the (CC) coaches and have a tour of the locker room. It was a real eye-opener for them. I hope we get to play (the Jr. Tigers) again next year so we can turn the tables on them."

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