COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The hockey world celebrated the 14th annual Hockey Week Across America coast to coast last week (Feb. 15-21), highlighted by 4,000 new children trying the sport on Saturday (Feb. 20) for the very first time as part of Try Hockey for Free Day, presented by Sports Engine. Thanks to USA Hockey volunteers across the country and countless others, new families were introduced to the sport at more than 170 rinks in 37 states.
“Hockey Week Across America is always one of the highlights of the season, and while this year was a little different, the passion and excitement generated by our great sport was certainly evident across the country,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “From the outdoor games put on by the NHL in Lake Tahoe, to events done both in person and virtually at the grassroots level, it was fun to see the celebration of our sport at every level and also the smiles on faces of new families that had a chance to try our game for the first time.”
Each day of Hockey Week Across America had a unique theme, with “Salute” days to players, coaches, officials and local rinks in place for the first four days.
Friday marked the fan-favorite “Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day,” where hockey families and fans across the nation sported their favorite jerseys. One lucky fan won a 1960 USA Hockey replica jersey courtesy of Chipotle.
Saturday’s Try Hockey Day was highlighted by USA Hockey’s national Try Hockey for Free Day and equipment was provided for children to use free of charge including skates, pads, helmets and sticks at host sites. Thousands of USA Hockey-certified coaches and volunteers provided instruction and engagement to children stepping onto the ice for the first time.
Sunday finished Hockey Week Across America with a theme of Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes, with a focus to honor those in communities across the country that dedicate their time to helping hockey flourish at the grassroots level.
NOTES: SportsEngine, CCM Hockey and Pure Hockey are official sponsors of Try Hockey for Free Days … To date, USA hockey has introduced some 220,950 children to the sport through its national Try Hockey for Free days … For more information about Hockey Week Across America, click here … For more information about Try Hockey for Free Day presented by SportsEngine, click here.