Saturday (Nov. 8) was record-setting for USA Hockey as its November Try Hockey for Free Day, presented by Kraft, introduced 14,767 children between the ages of 4 and 9 to the sport of hockey for the very first time. The scene played out in arenas nationwide as part of the fourth annual Come Play Hockey Month.
In all, nearly 500 sites hosted Try Hockey events across 48 states. Equipment was provided free of charge to every child attending the events, while thousands of volunteers provided instruction and encouragement. Saturday's turnout eclipsed the previous November Try Hockey For Free Day participation record, set in 2013, by more than 2,000.
"Welcoming so many fresh faces to the rink is exciting," said Pat Kelleher, USA Hockey's assistant executive director of development. "It was a great day for hockey and the volunteers all across the country deserve a ton of credit. Their energy and passion made it a great introduction to the sport. We're also grateful for the support from the NHL and its member clubs."
Complete information about the event can be found at TryHockeyForFree.com. USA Hockey, which conducts two national Try Hockey For Free Days each season, will conduct its second Try Hockey Day of the 2014-15 campaign on Feb. 21, 2015, as part of Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by CCM.
USA Hockey's Try Hockey For Free Days are designed to provide a national platform for introducing children to the sport, free of charge. Total Hockey and Liberty Mutual Insurance are official sponsors of Try Hockey For Free Days.
NOTE: Now in their fifth season, USA Hockey's national Try Hockey For Free Days have introduced nearly 85,000 children to the sport, including a one-season record 28,446 in 2013-14 ... Try Hockey For Free Day in November is part of Come Play Hockey Month. Come Play Hockey Month is a component of the NHL's Hockey is for Everyone™ (HIFE) program, which provides children of all backgrounds the opportunity to play hockey ... Join the conversation on social media using hashtag #TryHockey4Free.