COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The sixth annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by CCM, wrapped up last Sunday (Feb. 17) and was a success by all accounts. The coast-to-coast event, which took place Feb. 15-17, was a three-day celebration of hockey that included hundreds of thousands of fans wearing their favorite hockey jerseys, more than 6,000 boys and girls trying hockey for the first time, millions of viewers watching NBC's Hockey Day in America tripleheader broadcast, and the sport celebrating its local hockey heroes across the country.
"Hockey Weekend Across America was yet again a wonderful opportunity for hockey fans to enjoy the sport at all levels," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "Each year we have seen participation increase and the passion exhibited is truly remarkable."
Each of the three days associated with Hockey Weekend Across America had a theme, including Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day, sponsored by ShopUSAHockey.com on Friday; Try Hockey Day, sponsored by the NHL on Saturday and Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day on Sunday.
On Friday, Feb. 15, fans were directed to tweet at USA Hockey using #HWAA to share pictures of themselves, their friends and colleagues wearing their favorite hockey jersey. Fans also submitted photos on USA Hockey's Facebook page. Visit HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com to view a collection of the day's images.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, more than 6,000 children from across the nation were introduced to hockey for the first time during some 200 Try Hockey for Free events. Included was an outdoor clinic held at Soldier Field as part of the Hockey City Classic Winter Festival. Check out photos of players "Trying Hockey" throughout the day here.
In honor of "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes" day on Sunday, Feb. 17, local teams and associations honored their heroes in various ways. In addition, some 50 fans shared stories of their hockey heroes on HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com.
Also on Sunday, for the third straight year, NBC presented its "Hockey Day in America" coverage from 12 - 9 p.m. ET. Staged at Trump Rink in New York City's Central Park, NBC's studio coverage included features throughout the day that showcased all levels of hockey in the United States. NBC aired two NHL games in the afternoon, while NBC Sports Network showed the finale.
Hockey Weekend Across America incorporated the USA Hockey Officiating Program by giving some 20 aspiring young officials the opportunity to meet and learn from United States Hockey League and Southern Professional Hockey League veterans. Prior to each game, the young officials took the ice for warmups, introductions and the national anthem. Afterward, the young officials visited with their counterparts to review the game.
Hockey Weekend Across America also included the "Pick Six Sweepstakes." The Grand Prize winners -- Kelly Kastner (Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.), Kenneth Rosenberg (New City, N.Y.) and Kristine Wright (Green Bay, Wis.) each received their selection of six CCM products. First Place winners Katie Coughlin (Leonardtown, Md.), Brian Kelly (Braintree, Mass.) and Tony Tyler (Wanship, Utah) collected CCM "Strap a Rocket to the Puck" hockey sticks. Finally, 30 Consolation Prizes -- a USA Hockey hat -- were issued to Scott Adams (Coram, N.Y.), Matt Berger (Fairfield, Ohio), Ryan Camille (Timonium, Md.), Brenda Cisneros (Chula Vista, Calif.), Sephten Clevenger (Fountain Valley, Calif.), Aage Faster (San Diego, Calif.), James Gottmann (Cincinnati, Ohio), Mathew Green (Anchorage, Alaska), Scott Grumski (Sarver, Pa.), Keegan Harold (Fresno, Calif.), Cindy Jolly (New Palestine, Indiana), Georgene Keenan (Howell, N.J.), Andrew Kibitlewski (Vernon, N.J.), Ricky Krueger (Hutchinson, Minn.), David Lauritzen (Kirkland, Ill.), Maureen McKain (Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Kylie Miller (Medford, Ore.), Steve Moyer (Temperance, Mich.), Beth Nadeau (Manitowac, Wis.), Mitch Parsons (Longmount, Colo.), Scott Pierre (Cottage Grove, Minn.), Carol Plahm (Blue Island, Ill.), Matthew Poulin (Bristol, Conn.), Page Ribe (Birmingham, Ala.), John Roat (Philadelphia, Pa.), Blake Sorensen (Chicago, Ill.), Lawrence Sprung (Smithtown, N.Y.), Stephen Trimper (Villa Park, Ill.), Ryan VanBommel (Troy, Mich.), Angie Wyle (Craig, Neb.).
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 ... Nine NCAA and 21 NHL games were televised live during the weekend ... Media coverage from around the country can be found here ... A snapshot of events held across the country in celebration of Hockey Weekend Across America can be found here ... On Sunday, the NHL Network replayed the 2013 U.S. National Junior Team's run to the gold medal in Ufa, Russia ... Total Hockey and Liberty Mutual are official sponsors of "Try Hockey for Free Day."