A North Texas youth hockey team excited about participating in a tournament at Notre Dame this Friday says they were told days before the competition they can no longer go.
The team's coach has been trying to do everything he can to change the mind of the Dallas Stars Metro Hockey League.
The team had been preparing for the big tournament since December, and the coach says they got the approval they needed to participate. But, the General Manager of the Stars hockey facility in Frisco admits a big mistake was made.
“I have 13-, 14-year-old's on my team, and they’ve been looking forward to this for two months," said Coach John McDonald.
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"Parents even are super excited about it, it would be the highlight of their hockey career to be honest with you. The last two weeks is when I started finding out there was some resistance.”
Coach John McDonald said travel plans have been made, and hotels have been booked and paid for. That's more than $4,000 in hotel expenses alone.
According to the Dallas Stars Metro Hockey League, The Norte Dame tournament requires that all teams submit what’s called a 1T roster, making them eligible to participate. We’re told the hockey league does not grant those 1T rosters to any of its teams.
Despite the miscommunication, Coach McDonald says the team should be allowed to participate in Friday’s tournament.
“They don’t want other teams in the league also wanting to travel," McDonald said. "I guess they want to keep everybody here in the Metroplex. I’ve heard a couple of theories, a couple of excuses. I just want them to honor their commitment."
"They said we could go, and some other guys don’t want us to go, but it’s too late now,” said McDonald.
McDonald says his team is undefeated this year and he wanted to go up north to face tougher competition in a tournament.
Some of the players and their parents were scheduled to leave for South Bend, Indiana Wednesday morning.
Coach McDonald was hoping the issue would be resolved by Thursday, although the league said they will not be changing their mind and says they are prepared to reimburse the team for all expenses.