Members of the 2014 U.S. Olympic Women's Ice Hockey Team recently made a significant contribution to selected youth hockey associations across the country, sending 300 total sets of OneGoal starter equipment to the programs that helped shape and inspire their own hockey dreams.
Each player on the American roster was provided with 12 sets of equipment to donate to the youth hockey association of their choice. Each equipment set includes shin pads, shoulder pads, elbow pads, pants, gloves, a helmet with a cage, and a bag.
Today, more than 40,000 OneGoal starter equipment sets are in arenas and youth hockey associations nationwide to help families get started in hockey without the initial barrier of purchasing equipment. Total Hockey is a key partner with USA Hockey in the OneGoal equipment initiative.
"The Olympic dream began in many of these local hockey associations for our athletes and they never forget it," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "With the OneGoal program, they have an opportunity to help inspire a new generation of kids, while also saluting the people who helped them chase their Olympic dream."
Three-time U.S. Olympian Julie Chu donated to her childhood rink in Connecticut and remembered fondly the role it played in her development.
"It's truly my home rink, where I grew up and developed a love for the game," she said. "I'm so grateful for the time I spent playing there, and I love that I can give back to a place that has meant so much to me."
Minnesotan Anne Schleper, who will be playing in her first Olympic Winter Games, donated to a Minneapolis urban youth hockey association for which she served as a volunteer.
"Every time I had the opportunity to volunteer there, I was immediately filled with laughter and joy," she said. "I hope my donation becomes a great blessing to them and can help contribute to the wonderful standards they encourage every single day in their kids.
"Hockey gave me a way and a voice; all these kids need is an opportunity for the same."
|Kacey Bellamy||New England Junior Falcons Girls||Enfield, Conn.|
|Megan Bozek||Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey||Chicago, Ill.|
|Kate Buesser||Back Bay Indians||Wolfeboro, N.H.|
|Alex Carpenter||New Jersey Colonials||Morristown, N.J.|
|Lisa Chesson||Tomahawks Special Hockey||Chicago, Ill.|
|Julie Chu||Wonderland Wizards||Bridgeport, Conn.|
|Kendall Coyne||Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey||Chicago, Ill.|
|Brianna Decker||Wisconsin Amateur Hockey Association||Manitowoc, Wis.|
|Meghan Duggan||Danvers Youth Hockey||Danvers, Mass.|
|Jincy Dunne||St. Louis Cyclones / STL Lady Blues||St. Louis, Mo.|
|Lyndsey Fry||Coyotes Amateur Hockey Association / She Wolves||Scottsdale, Ariz.|
|Amanda Kessel||North Metro Youth Hockey Association||Minneapolis, Minn.|
|Hilary Knight||Sun Valley Youth Hockey||Sun Valley, Idaho|
|Jocelyne Lamoureux||Grand Forks Parks District Angels||Grand Forks, N.D.|
|Monique Lamoureux||Grand Forks Parks District Angels||Grand Forks, N.D.|
|Gigi Marvin||Warroad Youth Hockey||Warroad, Minn.|
|Brianne McLaughlin||Elyria Ice Hockey||Elyria, Ohio|
|Annie Pankowski||Anaheim Lady Ducks||Anaheim, Calif.|
|Michelle Picard||Taunton Brewins||Taunton, Mass.|
|Josephine Pucci||Ramapo Saints Youth Hockey||Monsey, N.Y.|
|Molly Schaus||East Coast Jumbos||Boston, Mass.|
|Anne Schleper||DinoMights||Minneapolis, Minn.|
|Kelli Stack||Parma Flyers Hockey Association||Parma, Ohio|
|Lee Stecklein||Roseville Area Youth Hockey Association||Roseville, Minn.|
|Jessie Vetter||Madison Patriots||Madison, Wis.|
March 27, 2017 | When USA Hockey implemented its American Development Model in 2009, one element of the nationwide age-appropriate training blueprint sparked more debate than any other: cross-ice hockey for 8U players. In the years since, an abundance of evidence, both data-driven and anecdotal, has proven the developmental advantages of cross-ice hockey.
This week, Hockey Canada announced that it too will introduce its players to the game through cross-ice play beginning in 2017-18.
“Re-sizing the playing surface to cross-ice or half-ice means more puck touches, which result in more chances to practice puck control and shooting, as well as overall more movement and motor skill-development – twisting, turning, balance, coordination, agility,” said Paul Carson, vice-president of membership development for Hockey Canada, in a release today. “Their field-of-play matches their size, and these players hone in on their skill-development in a way that larger ice surfaces just aren’t conducive to.”
The Grassroots Show on Ottawa’s TSN 1200 weighed in on the decision. Click the audio link below to hear how Canada is embracing cross-ice hockey for the coming season and beyond.
Tom Renney, president and CEO of Hockey Canada, appeared on the Grassroots Show to discuss the nationwide shift to cross-ice hockey, beginning this fall for 5- and 6-year-olds and expanding to all of Canada's Novice (8U) level in 2018-19.
“When you see 10 or 12 or 14 or 16 kids out on the ice in between periods and they’re playing 200-by-85 and 3 or 4 kids touch the puck in that whole six minutes, yet there’s people in the stands clapping and thinking it’s wonderful, I just can’t help but think about the 95 percent of the children that didn’t even touch the puck or get from one end of the rink to the other and I ask myself what are we doing when the opportunity is certainly there to have 30 kids on the ice playing cross-ice and everyone is having a much better opportunity to touch the puck, skate a shorter distance and really play. It just boggles my mind,” said Renney.
“We completely embrace, at the Initiation level and the Novice level, cross-ice hockey and we have mandated that in the Initiation program and we will mandate it across the country in Novice hockey.
“This is about the pure enjoyment of the game, and your first connection with it has to be something that’s pure fun, on a surface of play that is conducive to much more participation and joy.”