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9th Annual 'Hockey Weekend' a Rousing Success

By, 02/25/16, 9:00AM MST


Record 12,000-Plus Boys and Girls Try Hockey for First Time

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The ninth annual Hockey Weekend Across America concluded Sunday (Feb. 21) and was a success by all accounts. The nationwide event, which took place Feb. 19-21, was a three-day celebration of hockey that included hundreds of thousands of fans wearing their favorite hockey jerseys, 12,000 boys and girls trying hockey for the first time all across the nation, millions of viewers watching NBC's Hockey Day in America broadcast, and the celebration of local hockey heroes in communities throughout the country.

"This year's Hockey Weekend Across America was another fantastic celebration of our game," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "Among the many highlights of the weekend, it was terrific to see a record number of new kids and families have the chance to experience hockey for the very first time."

Each of the three days associated with Hockey Weekend Across America had a theme, including "Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day" on Friday (Feb. 19), sponsored by; "Try Hockey Day" on Saturday (Feb. 20), sponsored by the NHL; and "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day" on Sunday (Feb. 21).

On Friday, fans were encouraged to share photos of themselves, their friends and colleagues wearing their favorite hockey jerseys on social media using the hashtag #HockeyJerseyDay. To see a collection of images from the day, click here.

On Saturday, a record 12,080 children from across the nation were introduced to hockey for the first time at 330 Try Hockey for Free events, presented by Kraft Heinz, in 45 states. Saturday's turnout eclipsed the previous February Try Hockey for Free participation record, set last year, by nearly 2,000. Using the hashtag #TryHockey, fans submitted pictures on social media, some of which can be found here.

On Sunday, local teams and associations honored their local hockey heroes in various ways and fans shared stories of their local hockey heroes on FacebookInstagramTwitter and by using the hashtag #HockeyHeroes.


On Thursday (Feb. 18) USA Hockey announced that USA Hockey Arena in Plymouth, Michigan, will host the 2017 International Ice Hockey Federation Women's World Championship. The event, tentatively slated to run from April 1-8, 2017, will include 22 games and feature the top female hockey players in the world. 

In addition, it was announced that the 2016 U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp will take place at USA Hockey Arena, from July 30-Aug.6. The week-long camp will include 10 international games featuring Canada, Finland, Sweden and the United States and serve as preparation for the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will take place from Dec. 26, 2016 through Jan. 5, 2017, in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.

Sunday (Feb. 21) marked the sixth edition of NBC's "Hockey Day in America" coverage, which included relocating its studio coverage to Minneapolis, the site of the NHL's Stadium Series matchup between Chicago and Minnesota. The day included live broadcasts of three NHL games (two on NBC, one on NBCSN) and content in and around the games showcasing hockey at all levels. 

As part of Hockey Weekend Across America, 28 young officials had the chance to meet and learn from current NHL officials in conjunction with NHL games in American markets over the course of the three days. 

Recently, Labatt USA contributed $250,000 through Labatt USA'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 celebrated the weekend by hosting try sled hockey days. 

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 here ... The hashtag #HWAA on social media in used in association with the event .... A total of 26,209 new players were part of USA Hockey's two national Try Hockey for Free Days, presented by Kraft Heinz, this season, which include Liberty Mutual Insurance and Total Hockey as official sponsors. The total is more than 1,000 better than last season.

Stellick and Simmer in the Morning

With hosts Gord Sellick and Rob Simpson at 9:15 a.m. ET
XM 91 / Sirius 211

Monday, Feb. 15
Meghan Duggan, two-time Olympic silver medalist and five-time Women's World Championship gold medalist

LISTEN: Q&A with Meghan Duggan

Tuesday, Feb. 16
Mike Snee, executive director of College Hockey, Inc.

LISTEN: Q&A with Mike Snee

Wednesday, Feb. 17
Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey

Jeremy Roenick, NHL superstar, retired; member, U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame; broadcaster, NBC Sports (10:35 a.m. ET)


LISTEN: Q&A with Jeremy Roenick

Thursday, Feb. 18
Bob Fallen, president and commissioner of the United States Hockey League, the only Tier I junior hockey league in the United States

LISTEN: Q&A with Bob Fallen

Friday, Feb. 19
Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey

LISTEN: Q&A with Dave Ogrean

The Power Play

With hosts Scott Laughlin and Boomer Gordon at 5:30 p.m. ET
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Tuesday, Feb. 16
Jim Smith, president of USA Hockey

LISTEN: Q&A with Jim Smith

Wednesday, Feb. 17
Mike Modano, NHL superstar, retired; member, Hockey Hall of Fame/U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame (3:30 pm ET)

Jeff Sauer, Head Coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team and member of U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

LISTEN: Q&A with Jeff Sauer

Thursday, Feb. 18
Jim Johannson, assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey; two-time Olympian

LISTEN: Q&A with Jim Johannson

Friday, Feb. 19
Reagan Carey, director of women's ice hockey for USA Hockey