Brothers on the Ice

From October to February, 13 boys donned ice skates and picked up hockey sticks to compete across four states representing the Decatur Youth Hockey Association. These boys, 9 and 10 years old, made up the Decatur Flames squirt hockey team.

Scoring 140 goals this season, the squirt team took first place in its division, but were knocked out of the Missouri Hockey Youth Division State Championship after a double overtime shootout loss in St. Louis.

although the thrill of winning swept through the minds of the young players, often it wasn’t the most important aspect of the game. The teammates could find their friends on the ice, and players like Kolton Ellison said they became like brothers.

This collection of images is a glimpse inside a young team’s time spent on the ice.