Seymour girl helps Columbus 10U hockey team win Governor’s Cup


Yuzu Sasaki, a third-grader at Seymour-Redding Elementary School, was part of the championship-winning team in the 10U Indiana State Hockey Association Governor’s Cup.

Sasaki is a right-wing defender for the Columbus Flames.

The Flames are a youth hockey team, and they took the title at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis, the home of the Indy Fuel.

Yuzu spoke on being part of this accomplishment.

“It felt really great to be a part of it,” she said. “I thought I wasn’t feeling good in the first period, but the final two periods, I felt better. Then it turned into the best day ever at the end.”

The 9-year-old Seymour resident actually started figure skating but then transitioned to ice hockey, and she has never looked back. She started ice skating when she was 2 and ice hockey at 5. She started with the Flames in June of 2023.

Yuzu said she doesn’t plan to stop playing the sport she loves.

“I’ve loved it ever since I started,” she said. “I would love to continue playing hockey. My ultimate goal is to play on the Olympic team.”

Yuzu’s father, Toshinori Sasaki, spoke on his daughter getting involved in ice hockey.

“I never thought she would be playing hockey at the beginning,” he said. “But as soon as she started, you could tell that she liked the sport and enjoyed moving the puck around. She just couldn’t stop practicing and trying to get better at it.”

He thought Yuzu would continue figure skating, but she loves the game of hockey. She joined the Flames in February 2023 and has enjoyed some success along the way.

The team won a multi-state tournament in Evansville this past December before winning the Governor’s Cup in February.

“We are very proud of her,” father Toshinori and mother Yukiko both said.

Yuku shared her favorite part of being part of the Columbus Flames.

“I love how my teammates treat me, and I love how my coaches are very nice,” she said. “When I need help, they are always there for me and try to answer all my questions.”

She said her favorite part of playing hockey is having the opportunity to skate along with having fun.

Toshinori spoke on the experience of watching his daughter compete.

“It’s just a great enjoyment for the parents, players and coaches. It’s a really exciting sport to watch. It’s a big finding for her to enjoy this so much,” he said.

Her grandparents in Japan also watch her games and enjoy her achievements. Her mother always takes her to practice.

“She puts a lot of effort into taking her to practice in Columbus,” Toshinori said. “We all appreciate her dedication, as this can be very time-consuming, but we’re all happy to help Yuzu with what she loves.”

The Flames’ home rink is Hamilton Community Center and Ice Arena in Columbus.

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