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USA Hockey Grow the Game Award, Presented by Total Hockey

For the past seven years USA Hockey has partnered with Total Hockey to uncover new and innovative ways to grow the game of hockey! Tell us what your USA Hockey registered youth program is doing to increase the number of 8-and-under hockey players in your association and you'll get a shot at winning 30 Learn To Play (LTP) equipment sets from Total Hockey.

Participation in youth hockey around the country continues to grow thanks to our great volunteers and the new programs they are implementing. USA Hockey’s membership development team is committed to sharing your creative ideas with associations around the country. The winning idea will receive 30 sets of beginner equipment from Total Hockey, while 2nd and 3rd place will earn 20 and 10 sets respectively.

If you have an original idea that has helped grow your 8-and-under youth membership, please submit your entry for this award to GrowTheGame@usahockey.org. To be eligible for the Total Hockey Grow The Game Award, you need to be a current USA Hockey association that registers players in the 8 & under age category. All submissions need to be of a growth program currently being utilized by a USA Hockey association. The deadline for entries is May 15, 2015 and the award will be presented in June at USA Hockey’s Annual Congress.

2015 Award Winners

Whatcom County Amateur Hockey Association (Bellingham, Wash.), the Bemidji Little Lady Lumberjacks (Bemidji, Minn.) and Geauga Youth Hockey Association (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) have been selected as the recipients of the 2015 USA Hockey Grow the Game Award, presented by Total Hockey.

The three winning associations were voted as this year’s top submissions. Total Hockey awards the first-place finisher (Whatcom County Amateur Hockey Association) with 30 sets of starter equipment, second place (Bemidji Little Lady Lumberjacks) with 20 sets, and third place (Geauga Youth Hockey Association) with 10 sets.

First Place

Working in conjunction with its local YMCA, Whatcom County Amateur Hockey Association created, staffed and operated a summer floor hockey program that welcomed new players to the sport. The association also hosted multiple try-hockey events, including a very popular mites party program, which is offered weekly and encourages 8U players to bring a friend to the rink. The association also participates in USA Hockey's 2-and-2 Challenge, which helps programs acquire new players and retain existing players.

Second Place

The Little Lady Lumberjacks offer a free program designed to boost girls hockey participation within the Bemidji Youth Hockey Association. The program includes themed skating parties on holidays, team potluck dinners, special outdoor games and interaction opportunities with the Bemidji State University women's hockey team.

Third Place

The Geauga Youth Hockey Association has made it a priority to educate its community on the role that youth hockey can play in creating healthy, happy kids. The association works with local schools to create hockey field trip opportunities for physical education classes and also hosts dollar days, during which skating and food is offered to the community for only $1.