USA Hockey will lead the nation in its yearly nationwide initiative Hockey Week Across America, Feb. 17-24. The week-long event is now in its 12th year and includes a special theme for each day.
“This week provides an opportunity to celebrate all the players, coaches, officials and volunteers who make hockey so special,” said Pat Kelleher, executive director of USA Hockey. “It's also an opportunity to introduce new families to our game. We're particularly excited this year as we begin the celebration with our U.S. Women's National Team facing off against Canada in Detroit on NHL Network and with NBC's incredible Hockey Day in America coverage of our sport."
Each day of Hockey Week Across America will include a theme, including individual days to salute players (Monday), coaches (Tuesday), officials (Wednesday) and local rinks (Thursday), as well as the traditional themes of Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day (Friday), Try Hockey Day (Saturday) and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day (Sunday). Kicking off the week-long celebration will be the third and final game of the 2019 Rivalry Series between the women's national teams from the United States and Canada as well as NBC's Hockey Day in America.
|Sun., Feb. 17||Hockey Day In America (NBC)|
|Mon., Feb. 18||Salute to Players|
|Tues., Feb. 19||Salute to Coaches|
|Wed., Feb. 20||Salute to Officials|
|Thurs., Feb. 21||Salute to Local Rinks|
|Fri., Feb. 22||Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day|
|Sat., Feb. 23||Try Hockey Day|
|Sun., Feb. 24||Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day|
One of the greatest rivalries in sports will renew when the women's national teams from the U.S. and Canada clash in the 2019 Rivalry Series from Feb. 12-17. The three-game series will conclude on Sunday, Feb. 17, when Little Caesars Arena in Detroit will host the final game of the series at 12 noon ET. The U.S. roster for the event includes 14 members of the gold medal-winning 2018 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team. Bob Corkum (Salisbury, Mass.) will serve as head coach and be joined by assistant coaches Joel Johnson (White Bear Lake, Minn.), Brian Pothier(New Bedford, Mass.) and Steve Thompson (Anchorage, Alaska). Tickets (ranging from $15-35) for the game in Detroit are on sale now and can be purchased at 313Presents.com, Little Caesars XFINITY box office and Ticketmaster.com. To purchase tickets by phone, fans can call 800-745-3000.
NBC's Hockey Day in America will also take place on Feb. 17 and see its studio relocated to Campus Martius Park in downtown Detroit. The day begins at 12 noon ET with a half-hour pre-game show on NBC in advance of two games on the network (New York at Pittsburgh; St. Louis at Minnesota). NBCSN will conclude Hockey Day in America coverage Sunday evening with the Philadelphia at Detroit 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.
On Saturday, Feb. 23, as part of Try Hockey Day more than 350 rinks in 46 states will host Try Hockey For Free events, presented by SportsEngine and official event sponsors, Chipotle and Pure Hockey. The events provide kids that have never played before a chance to try the sport for free. A year ago, a combined 13,504 children were introduced to the sport across 379 host arenas in 46 states nationwide during HWAA while last November saw a combined 12,564 children try the sport for the first time across 451 host arenas in 48 states. To date, USA Hockey's national Try Hockey program has introduced more than 178,000 children to the sport. To find a participating rink near you and register, visit TryHockeyForFree.com.
At 18 NHL games in American cities during Hockey Week 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. Additionally, the women's game at Little Caesars Arena between the United States and Canada will also see two young female officials attend and have the opportunity to meet the game's officials prior to the game.
The U.S. Women's Development Sled Hockey Team will host its Canadian counterpart in a two-game series in St. Cloud, Minn., from Feb. 21-23. The U.S. Women's Development Sled Hockey Team, which originated in 2007, is in its first season under the governance of USA Hockey. The 2018-19 U.S. roster will be coached by Rosie Misiewicz (Duluth, Minn.) and was selected during the Women's Sled Hockey Training Camp from Aug. 23-26 at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. Both of those games will be broadcast by HockeyTV at USAHockey.HockeyTV.com.
The 2019 Hockey Week Across America falls during a trio of USA Hockey Olympic gold medal-winning moments. Chief among them are a pair of golden moments in women's ice hockey, as Feb. 17 will mark the 21st anniversary of the United States capturing the inaugural Olympic gold medal in women's ice hockey at the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, while Feb. 22 will be the one-year anniversary of Team USA's 3-2 shootout victory against Canada in the gold-medal game of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. Feb. 22 will also mark the 39th anniversary of Miracle on Ice, when the 1980 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team defeated the Soviet Union in the 1980 Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, N.Y. before securing its second-ever Olympic gold medal in the men's event with a victory over Finland on Feb. 24.
Additionally, 2019 is the 10-year anniversary of the American Development Model, a new paradigm in youth athlete development that was unanimously approved by the USA Hockey board of directors for the start of the 2009-10 season. Over the ensuing decade, the ADM has become the world-leading standard for hockey development, beginning with players' first strides and carrying them through high school, junior college and professional hockey. Notable highlights since its approval includes the total number of female hockey players (ages 18 and younger) in America increasing 37 percent, the total number of 8-and-Under hockey players in America jumping 33 percent, the total number of youth hockey players (ages 18 and younger) in America increasing 13 percent and USA Hockey reaching a record number of youth hockey players in the last five consecutive seasons, which includes a record number of 8-and-Under players in the last three seasons. For more on the 10-year anniversary, click here.
NOTES: Media wishing to attend and cover the Feb. 17 USA vs. Canada contest should complete the online credential form by Friday, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. ET ... Hockey Week 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 ... Throughout the event, hockey fans, teams, leagues and organizations are encouraged to use the hashtag #HWAA to join the social conversation. Additionally, USA Hockey's Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages will accept photos from families, friends and colleagues in search of the most passionate hockey fans ... For more information on Hockey Week Across America, visit hockeyweekacrossamerica.com.