COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The fifth annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok, kicks off in less than a week. The three-day celebration of the sport of hockey will take place Feb. 17-19 nationwide.
"Every level of hockey in every part of our country is engaged with the celebration of Hockey Weekend Across America in some manner," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, "This event continues to get bigger and better every year."
Each of the three days associated with Hockey Weekend Across America has a theme, including Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey, sponsored by ShopUSAHockey.com on Friday; Try Hockey Day, sponsored by the NHL on Saturday and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes, sponsored by Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports on Sunday.
On Friday, Feb. 17, fans are encouraged to visit USA Hockey's Facebook page to submit photos of themselves, their friends and colleagues donning their favorite hockey jersey as part of "Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey" day.
On Saturday, Feb. 18, more than 200 rinks across the nation will host Try Hockey for Free Clinics, exposing more than 4,000 young kids to hockey for the very first time. A list of currently scheduled clinics as well as information on how local associations or rinks can host their own event can be found here.
In honor of "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes" day on Sunday, Feb. 19, USA Hockey is asking fans to post stories, photos or videos of their hockey heroes to its Facebook wall to share with the world. Local associations and/or fans will be honoring their local hockey heroes in various ways throughout the day.
As part of Hockey Weekend Across America for the second straight year, NBC presents its Hockey Day in America coverage throughout the afternoon on Sunday, with its studio set being located at the Wells Fargo WinterSkate outdoor rink in St. Paul, Minn. Young skaters from Minnesota will take to the rink throughout the day to showcase USA Hockey's American Development Model. In addition, a giant Team USA jersey, spanning 20 feet by 20 feet, will be on hand for fans to sign in support of the U.S. Women's National Team which will host the International Ice Hockey Federations Women's World Championship in Burlington, Vt., from April 7-14. NBC and the NHL will release more details on Hockey Day in America later this week.
As part of the Hockey Weekend Across America celebration, XM/Sirius' Hockey This Morning will interview a prominent figure in American hockey for five straight days at 9:25 a.m. EST each day beginning on Monday (Feb. 13). A full list of guests appears below.
NHL Network U.S. will air special programming during Hockey Weekend Across America. A detailed NHL Network U.S. schedule can be found here.
Joe Louis Arena, the home of the NHL's Detroit Red Wings, will host "24 Hours of Hockey" starting one minute past midnight on Friday night/Saturday morning. The event will feature a USA Hockey ADM clinic and two, one-hour free Try Hockey for Free clinics on Saturday morning, in addition to games throughout the day from all age levels.
A new component of Hockey Weekend Across America this year gives aspiring young officials a chance to meet with their NHL counterparts. At each home NHL game in an American city during Hockey Weekend Across America, two young officials will have a chance to meet the NHL officials working the particular contest prior to the game and then stay to watch those NHL officals in action.
HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com is the information hub for the event, with highlights of activities planned in conjunction with Hockey Weekend Across America from around the country, giveaway contests and downloadable promotional materials available. Associations or fans celebrating Hockey Weekend Across America are encouraged to submit their event plans to USA Hockey at the site.
Finally, USA Hockey and Reebok Hockey are teaming up to provide free head-to-toe equipment packages to three lucky winners with the Hockey Weekend Across America "Get Your Gear On Sweepstakes." For official rules and to enter, click 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 ... Follow @USAHockey on Twitter for giveaways throughout the weekend and use the hashtag #HWAA to join the conversation ... "Like" USA Hockey's Facebook page for special news throughout Hockey Weekend Across America.
2012 Hockey Weekend Across American, presented by Reebok
A Look at Some of the Happenings Around the Country
Big Sky, Montana
Local NHL star Marty Pavelich will host a Try Hockey for Free clinic from 4-6 p.m. with an adult game to follow. Email
Des Moines, Iowa
The Des Moines Metro High School Hockey League will host a Pink the Rink event on Saturday with proceeds going to breast cancer charities. Wear pink! Info
The Lane Amateur Hockey Association will host a Try Hockey for Free event on Saturday during the Ice Cup Tournament. www.laha.org
Fairfield Ice Academy will host a Try Hockey for Free clinic on Saturday from 4-5 p.m. www.fairfieldiceacademy.com
The Connecticut Whale AHL will celebrate youth hockey by offering $10 tickets to youths wearing their jerseys on Saturday. www.ctwhale.com
Kansas City, Missouri
The KC Fighting Saints will host a Try Hockey For Free event on Saturday at Line Creek Community Center from 4:10 to 5:10 p.m. www.kcsaintshockey.org
The Medford Youth Hockey & Girls Hockey program will host a Try Hockey For Free clinic at noon on Saturday at the LoConte Rink. www.medfordrechockey.com
High school hockey players from Davenport, Iowa, are participating in a benefit game to help fight the battle against heart disease on Friday, Feb. 17. The game will be held at the i-Wireless Center in Moline, Illinois, at 6 p.m. www.quadcityhockey.com
The Channel Islands Ice Center invites kids age 5 to 10 to come Try Hockey for Free on Saturday. E-mail
Join the WHK Hawks for a winter blast at a Try Hockey For Free event on Saturday from 1-2:30 p.m. at Hobomock. www.whkhawks.org
The Rhinelander Ice Association will host on Saturday a Try Hockey for Free clinic for new skaters. www.rhinelanderice.com
The Rowlett Hockey League is hosting a Try Hockey for Free clinic with great door prizes, skills games and more on Saturday. If locals wear their jerseys to work or school on Friday and send in photos to the website they can win a prize. www.rowletthockey.com
The Wheaton Ice Arena will offer discounted public skating on Friday to people wearing hockey jerseys. The arena will also offer a free beginning hockey lesson on Saturday from 11:40 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. with free rentals available. www.WheatonIceArena.com
Come try Hockey for Free from 12:15-2:15 p.m. on Saturday. www.wichitaicecenter.com
Come out and Try Hockey for Free and enjoy a BBQ with the CHILL. www.cherokeehockey.org
Hockey Weekend Across America Programming
Hockey This Morning on XM/Sirius
All guests on with host Mike Ross and Mick Kern at 9:25 a.m. EST
XM 204 / Sirius 208
Monday, Feb. 13
Dick Kazmaier, father of the late Patty Kazmaier, whose namesake is on the award for the top women's collegiate hockey player in the country. The Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award celebrates its 15th anniversary in the 2011-12 season and will be presented on March 17 in Duluth, Minn., in conjunction with the NCAA Women's Frozen Four.
Tuesday, Feb. 14
Kevin Allen, esteemed hockey writer for USA Today and author of "Star Spangled Hockey," which celebrates the first 75 years of USA Hockey.
Wednesday, Feb. 15
Scott Monaghan, senior director of operations for USA Hockey's National Team Development Program. The NTDP celebrates its 15th season on ice in 2011-12. Monaghan is the lone staff member to have been with the program since its inception.
Thursday, Feb. 16
Walter Bush, chairman of the board for USA Hockey
Friday, Feb. 17
Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey