DALLAS — The defending champion Montana Thunderblades opened the Tier II U16 1A national hockey tournament with a 3-2 win over Maine Thursday.
Butte’s Ethan Cooney registered in an assist in the victory. Kody Chamberlin from Butte also played for the Thunderblades.
The Montana boys will play South Dakota today. That game is a rematch of last year’s national title game, which was won by the Thunderblades.
Montana plays Wyoming on Saturday, and the top two teams from each pool advance to Sunday’s semifinals. The championship game is Monday.
The tournament is being played on the ice of the Dr. Pepper StarCenter, home of the NHL Dallas Stars.