This year’s Squirt International Hockey Tournament marks the 39th year of this prestigious youth hockey event. The 1st tournament was held in the spring of 1985 as a memorial tournament for Jerry O’Keefe, whose son was a squirt player for the Fargo Flyers. O’Keefe drowned on a fishing trip to Canada in 1984. Fellow Fargo Flyers’ parents Wayne Olson, Roxanne Hunter and John Erickson picked out eight teams from the area to invite them to this original memorial tournament.
The tournament saw success from the start and many teams outside of the Fargo area reached out to be placed on a waiting list. The tournament grew in popularity warranting the committee to expand to a 16-team format which helped to attract teams from the Twin Cities and Colorado.
In 1990 the Squirt B division was introduced and due to demand the Squirt C division was created in 2015 growing from 32 teams to 80 teams in 2019. In 2022, a record 236 teams traveled to Fargo over three weekends to compete in these Squirt International tournaments: Squirt B- 80 teams, Squirt B1- 80 teams and Squirt A-76 teams.
Teams come from all over the United States and Canada to play in this tournament. States and Providences represented have been: ND, MN, SD, MT, IA, WA, CO, TX, AZ, CA, WI, IL, NC, NE, WY, OK, IN, FL, KS, MO, AK, NV, MB, SK and ON.
The Fargo Youth Hockey Association (FYHA) is the official host of this tournament. The Fargo Flyers, Fargo Raiders and Fargo All-City officially merged under the FYHA name in 2011. Today the association has nearly 1,000 youth participating in its hockey programs. The Fargo Youth Hockey Association hosts eight hockey tournaments per year and it would not be possible without the tremendous support of our membership, our local ice partners, referees and our community partners.
FYHA tournament committee would like to remember Mike Hartel, a generous man, we lost too soon. His giving heart and kind ways made an impact on many people, especially those in our hockey community. Mike Hartel-Mr. Youth Hockey 1971-2018.
Thank you for participating in our 39th Annual Squirt International Hockey Tournament. We hope the memories you make will last a lifetime.