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9th Annual HWAA Begins Friday

By USAHockey.com, 02/19/16, 7:15AM MST

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Themes Include: Wear Your Favorite Jersey (Friday), Try Hockey (Saturday) and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes (Sunday)

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — USA Hockey will lead the nation in the ninth annual Hockey Weekend Across America this Friday through Sunday (Feb. 19-21).

Each of the three days of Hockey Weekend Across America features a special theme.

"Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day" on Friday (Feb. 19), sponsored by ShopUSAHockey.com, is the day for fans to show off their hockey pride by wearing their prized hockey jerseys. USA Hockey's Facebook and Twitter pages will accept photos from families, friends and colleagues in search of the most passionate hockey fans.

On Saturday (Feb. 20), as part of "Try Hockey Day," sponsored by the NHL, more than 300 rinks in 45 states will host Try Hockey for Free clinics, presented by Kraft Heinz, allowing thousands of children to experience hockey for the first time. To find a participating rink near you and register, visit TryHockeyforFree.com.

To cap off the weekend, "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day" on Sunday, Feb. 21, encourages all involved in the game to develop ways to honor their local hockey heroes. USA Hockey invites fans to post pictures and stories on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The day also includes NBC's Hockey Day in America coverage that comprises an NHL tripleheader. The day begins at 12 noon ET with a half-hour pre-game show on NBC in advance of two games on the network (Pittsburgh at Buffalo; Chicago at Minnesota). NBCSN will conclude Hockey Day in America coverage on Sunday evening with the Detroit at New York Rangers game. Along with its game coverage, NBC will also produce content in and around the games showcasing hockey at all levels in the United States.

USA HOCKEY PRESS CONFERENCE SET FOR THURSDAY (FEB. 18)

On Thursday (Feb. 18), USA Hockey will conduct a press conference at USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, to reveal significant news, including the site of the 2017 IIHF Women's World Championship. The press conference is slated for 2 p.m. ET and will stream live at USAHockey.com. Anticipated speakers include Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey; Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey; Reagan Carey, director of women's ice hockey for USA Hockey; Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey; and Shannon Price, Plymouth Township Supervisor.

OFFFICIALS IN ON ACTION

At 14 NHL games in American cities during Hockey Weekend Across America, two young officials will have the chance to meet the NHL officials working the particular contest prior to the game and then stay to watch those NHL officials in action.

HIGHLIGHTING SLED HOCKEY

Recently, Labatt USA contributed $250,000 through Labatt's Pass It Forward Initiative to The USA Hockey Foundation to either start or further 10 sled hockey programs across the country. During Hockey Weekend Across America, several of the $25,000 grant recipient programs will highlight their plans moving forward. The list of grant recipients can be found below. Labatt also has sled hockey cans in the marketplace to further visibility of sled hockey and raise additional funds to support the growth of the sport nationwide.

Grant Recipients

Program Location
Boston Shamrocks Sled Hockey Wilmington, Mass.
Eagle Mount-Great Falls Great Falls, Mont.
Disabled Athlete Sports Association St. Louis Blues St. Louis, Mo.
Hero Sports Sioux Falls, S.D.
Palm Beach Tiger Sharks Sled Hockey Lake Worth, Fla.
Knoxville Amateur Hockey Association Knoxville, Tenn.
Rochester Sled Hockey Rochester, Minn.
Rochester Sled Hockey Organization Rochester, N.Y.
Winterhawks Sled Hockey Portland, Ore.
Wisconsin Adaptive Sports Association Lightning Sled Hockey Team Milwaukee, Wis.

U.S. NATIONAL SLED HOCKEY TEAM TRAINING CAMP IN NORTH CAROLINA

Both the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and U.S. Developmental Sled Hockey Team will conduct training camps Thursday-Saturday (Feb. 18-21) at Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail, North Carolina. The camp will be Team USA's final preparation for the 2016 IPC Pan Pacific Championship that will take place Mar. 29-Apr. 2 in Buffalo, New York. The U.S. will be seeking its second championship of the season after claiming the 2016 World Sled Hockey Challenge in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia, on Jan. 24 with a 3-2 overtime victory over Canada. A complete camp schedule, which will include two games between the national and developmental teams, will be announced Wednesday (Feb. 17).

NHL LIVE

Chris Chelios, a current assistant coach for the Detroit Red Wings and a member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame, and  Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, will be guests on NHL Live with Steve Mears and E.J. Hradek, Wednesday (Feb. 17) and Friday (Feb. 19), respectively.

SIRIUS/XM NHL Network Radio

As part of the Hockey Weekend Across America celebration, Sirius/XM will feature interviews with prominent figures in American Hockey all week long. A full list of guests appears here.

NOTES: Hockey Weekend Across America was created by USA Hockey in 2008 to engage the hockey community in celebrating the sport of hockey at all levels and exposing the sport to new audiences ... For full information surrounding the weekend, click ... Use the hashtag #HWAA on social media in association with the event ... Liberty Mutual Insurance and Total Hockey are sponsors of Try Hockey for Free Day.

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