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Kirkwood continues to thrive with second half-century on the horizon

By USA Hockey, 01/30/18, 2:30PM MST

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50th season highlighted by surging participation totals

There’s a lot to celebrate in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, Missouri. Not only is the local youth hockey club basking in its 50th anniversary, it’s also seeing a surge in player participation and club vitality that suggests a future even more promising that its past. And that’s saying something, because Kirkwood has a remarkable history. The club has helped produce two NHL goaltenders (Ben Bishop, Mike McKenna), an NHL defenseman (Chris Butler) and a Hall-of-Fame forward who led the 1984 United States Olympic Team with eight points in six games (Pat LaFontaine), to go along with countless happy moments for young hockey enthusiasts throughout the Gateway City.

Along the way, in 2013, Kirkwood also added USA Hockey Model Association status to its list of accomplishments.

USA Hockey’s Bob Mancini visited the club recently, joining in its 50th season celebration and discussing player development with coaches and parents. He left impressed and excited about the future.

“Kirkwood, as a USA Hockey Model Association, has seen tremendous growth not only on the ice, with the depth of their coaching and direction, but also with the numbers of players registered to play,” said Mancini, an American Development Model regional manager. “The registration numbers there truly mimic the club’s commitment to doing the right things for youth hockey players.”