skip navigation

Nutcracker Tournament

24th Annual Nutcracker Hockey Tournament - December 26-31, 2023

The region's premier holiday ice hockey tournament for AA, A (Major and Minor), and B level teams at the 8U, 10U, 12U, and 14U age classifications.  The tournament draws a maximum of 100 of the most talented teams from Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, New York and beyond.


Age levels are based on 2023-2024 USA Hockey age levels. Teams must play with their regular league roster and may NOT add players to their roster for the tournament. House all-star teams at the Squirt, Pee Wee, and Bantam levels are allowed if formed exclusively from an in-house program. Any exceptions to this rule must be approved by the tournament director, Blaine Buterbaugh via email

Mite teams do not have to be the regularly rostered team from the season and may consist of players from multiple teams throughout an organization. Mite teams may also be formed from players of different organizations; however, such mixed organization teams may not be permitted into the tournament based on overall team strength. Mite-aged players who are rostered on a full ice Squirt team are not permitted in the Nutcracker, EXCEPT girls who are born in 2015 and are playing on a girls-only Squirt team.

Every effort will be made to form competitive divisions.  Divisional determination will be based upon, but not limited to, team’s current playing level, league ranking, myhockeyrankings, conversations with registered teams.

The NUTCRACKER will use a 5-point system for round-robin games.
-2 points for winning the game, (tied games result in 1 point per team)
-1 point per period won, (tied periods result in 0.5 point per team)

All levels have a four-game guarantee with five games possible.  

Mite games are (3) 17-minute running time periods.

Squirt and above feature (3) 12-minute stop-time periods.

The winning teams receive the Nutcracker Cup engraved with all players' and coaches' names.  Players on the championship team and the runner-up team will also receive individual awards.

An EMT is present in the building for each game of the tournament.
Each player receives a FREE copy of the tournament souvenir program.



Final team schedules will be released BY Monday, December 18, 2023...if not sooner.

Top Tiers of Mites Dec. 26-28
Pee Wees, Bantam, Middle School Dec. 26-28
Remaining Tiers of Mites Dec. 28-31
Squirts Dec. 28-31


Squirt, Pee Wee, Bantam, & Middle School Divisions
$1420 if registered before 11:59 PM 10/4/23
$1570 if registered 10/5/23 later.

Mite Divisions
$875 if registered before 11:59 PM 10/4/23
$920 if registered 10/5/23 later.

Out-Of-Town Teams

Out-of-Town teams are encouraged to contact one of our convenient hotel partners:

Sheraton Inn Pittsburgh Airport (Moon)
Sonja Matokovich, 412-375-5247

Hampton Inn Pittsburgh Airport (Moon)
Jackie Denny, 412-264-0020 x2

Hyatt Regency Pittsburgh Airport (Moon)
Hunter Todd, 724-899-6047