A celebrity golf tournament featuring members of the National Hockey League’s Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings will be held Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014, at The Broadmoor Golf Resort in Colorado Springs, Colo., with all proceeds from the event benefitting The USA Hockey Foundation.
The tournament will be held in conjunction with an NHL preseason game between Colorado and Los Angeles at the Broadmoor World Arena in Colorado Springs on Oct. 2.
"We're most grateful to have The USA Hockey Foundation as the beneficiary of the celebrity golf outing," said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey. "We also thank both the Kings and Avalanche for their continued efforts in in working with USA Hockey to positively affect the growth of hockey, particularly at the youth level."
Foursomes for the tournament are available and include the opportunity to golf with Avalanche and Kings personnel, tickets to the preseason contest between the two clubs Oct. 2, and opportunities to win prizes, as well as breakfast, lunch, and a cocktail reception.
For more information, click here or call (310) 535-4466.
Marcos Alvarez played basketball, but when he received a hockey stick for a birthday present in his early teens, he quickly became hooked on hockey. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to play for a team because of his family couldn’t afford the fees and equipment costs.
Now, as an adult hockey player, Marcos feels like it’s the right time for him to give back to “the greatest sport in the world.”
Initially, the Pomona, Calif., native donated once annually during the registration process. But last summer he decided to make monthly recurring donations instead.
“I’m in a position to give back to the sport I love, even just a little,” he said. “Maybe it will help some kid who doesn’t have the money to play.”
According to Marcos, hockey is unlike any other sport. He is happy to see the sport grow in Southern California, and he hopes that his donation can help it grow even more.
Marcos feels strongly that kids should learn to play hockey because it teaches teamwork and determination. It also creates life-long friendships.
“I still know and play hockey with people that I met through hockey when I was younger,” he said. “I don’t consider them friends anymore, to me, they’re more like family.”
The USA Hockey Foundation is happy to call Marcos part of its family.
The U.S. Women’s National Team is no stranger to championship games or hardware. Between the Olympics and the International Ice Hockey Federation’s World Championships, the women have won a combined 18 medals since 1998.
But for eight straight years (1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001 and 2004) those medals were silver, as Canada had the upper hand over the U.S.
That second-place streak came to a halt in 2005. That year, the national team captured its first-ever gold medal at the World Championship.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Angela Ruggiero, who represented the U.S. from 1998-2011. “Even with all the teams that I have played for, that one was really something special. We had a lot of veterans who had been around a while, still waiting for that gold.
“That win was kind of a turning point for us and teams to come.”
After downing China (8-2), Germany (7-0) and Finland twice (8-1 and 3-0), Team USA once again had to get through rival Canada to earn gold.
“That rivalry with Canada, there really is nothing quite like it,” said Jenny Potter, now head coach at Trinity College and a member of that 2005 team. “Both sides are just so incredibly talented.”
Stepping into the championship duel, a well-balanced attack on both sides of the ice was apparent. The U.S. and Canada battled through three periods without a goal. A scoreless overtime forced a shootout to be the deciding factor.
“I’ve won in a shootout and I’ve lost in a shootout,” said Ruggiero. “It’s amazing to win and horrible to lose. But I knew that right there, we had the opportunity to win it.”
Ruggiero capitalized on the opportunity. The defenseman tallied the game-winning goal in the shootout, which also included goals from Natalie Darwitz and Krissy Wendell. U.S. goalie Chanda Gunn made 26 total saves to pick up the win.
“You couldn’t even describe the excitement after we won,” said Potter. “Competing at that high level in front of fans and pulling off the win for the first time, it was exceptional.”
It wouldn’t be the last gold medal for Team USA. It would be just the start. Since 2005, the U.S. has won the top honor in four out of the last six World Championships, including the latest in 2013.
Potter and Ruggiero stay in touch with many of their former teammates and keep an eye on how current U.S. squads are competing. Neither will forget that memorable moment in 2005, nor being part of Team USA.
“USA Hockey has been such a big part of my life,” said Potter. “I was able to get a lot of opportunities and meet exceptional people with a platform to play the sport I love.”
And these women have helped pave the way for future generations of girls’ and women’s hockey players in America.