COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – USA Hockey will lead the nation in the seventh annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by CCM, Feb. 28-March 2.
"Hockey Weekend Across America is one of the marquee events on the calendar each year," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "This year will be unique as we'll celebrate Hockey Weekend Across America the weekend immediately following the conclusion of the Olympic Winter Games."
Each of the three days of Hockey Weekend Across America features a special theme.
"Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day" on Friday, Feb. 28, is the day for fans to show off their hockey pride by wearing their prized hockey jerseys. USA Hockey's Facebook and Twitter pages will accept photos from families, friends, and colleagues in search of the most passionate hockey fans.
On Saturday, March 1, as part of Try Hockey Day, sponsored by the NHL, hundreds of rinks nationwide will host "Try Hockey for Free" clinics, sponsored by Liberty Mutual and Total Hockey, allowing thousands of children to experience hockey for the first time. Arenas interested in hosting an event and players wishing to take part should visit HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com for more details.
To cap off the weekend, "Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes" day on Sunday, March 2, encourages hockey programs nationwide to develop ways to honor their local hockey heroes. USA Hockey invites all to post pictures and stories on its Facebook and Twitter pages. The day also includes NBC's Hockey Day in America coverage.
Fans 13 years of age and older can begin registering for the Hockey Weekend Across America "Great Day for Hockey" Sweepstakes tomorrow (Jan. 1) at HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com. Three grand prize packages will be awarded, each including hockey skates, hockey stick, helmet/facemask combo and hockey gloves, courtesy of CCM. Second and third prizes will also be awarded with the drawing taking place.
At each of 15 NHL games in American cities 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 officials in action.
For full information surrounding the weekend, visit HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com. Visitors can seek out activities around their community or across the country, participate in exciting giveaways and download promotional materials. Associations and teams celebrating Hockey Weekend Across America are encouraged to submit their event plans to USA Hockey on this site.
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.
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans of hockey participated in initiatives across the country this past weekend to celebrate the game as part of USA Hockey's second annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok.
"We are extremely pleased with the vast participation by the overall hockey community in Hockey Weekend Across America," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey.
Each of the three days of Hockey Weekend Across America had a theme, including:
All levels of hockey participated in the celebration, from youth hockey associations to professional teams.
Hockey associations/clubs from around the country may enter to win great prizes as part of Hockey Weekend Across America's best programming contest. The top prize is 25 sets of OneGoal starter hockey equipment, plus $2,000. Five runner-up prizes of $1,000 will also be awarded. The entry form can be downloaded by clicking here.
Various media entities featured programming specific to the weekend, including the NHL Network, which highlighted historic wins by U.S. teams and featured prominent U.S. players, while XM Radio's Hockey This Morning on channel 204 interviewed some of the most influential figures in American hockey.
USA Hockey held media conference calls during the week of Hockey Weekend Across America with Zach Parise (Olympic hopeful and member of the New Jersey Devils) and Angela Ruggiero (three-time Olympian) on Tuesday (Feb. 10); Dave Ogrean (USA Hockey executive director) on Wednesday (Feb. 11); Brian Burke (general manager of the 2010 U.S. Olympic Men's Ice Hockey Team and president/general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs) on Thursday (Feb. 12); and hockey media giants Mike Emrick, Kevin Allen and Eddie Olczyk on Friday (Feb. 13). Audio from the calls can be heard here.
Additionally, fans across the country registered for Hockey Weekend Across America's Great Jersey Giveaway. Each day of Hockey Weekend Across America, 15 lucky fans were randomly chosen to receive an authentic NHL jersey of their choice, courtesy of Reebok. The winners are listed below.
Fans also participated in a puck hunt contest at HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com each day during the three-day celebration. Participants searched for the puck hunt banner located on various pages of Hockey Weekend Across America's official web site and clicked on the link to win a daily grand prize from Total Hockey or a runner-up prize hat from USA Hockey. The winners are listed below.