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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hockey Day In Michigan set for February

Compiled by MiCHO Staff

The Central Collegiate Hockey Association announced Wednesday the fourth annual Hockey Day In Michigan will take place on February 14, 2009. The CCHA, FSN Detroit, the Detroit Red Wings and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association will once again join forces to bring a coast-to-coast celebration of the sport of hockey to participants and fans across the Great Lakes State .

This year’s event has been scheduled to coincide with USA Hockey’s Hockey Weekend Across America February 13-15, 2009.

Michigan has more than 62,000 registered players, coaches and officials with close to 3,800 teams registered with USA Hockey, which is the most of any state in the nation.

Ken Holland, the vice president and general manager of the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, says he’s biased but truly believes that hockey is the most exciting sport in the world to both play and watch.

“Michigan is a power in the hockey community and provides hockey opportunities to play and watch for every age and level," Holland said. "It is home to the Stanley Cup champion Detroit Red Wings, the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, seven Division I NCAA programs, including perennial powerhouses Michigan and Michigan State, along with outstanding junior hockey, not to mention numerous high school and youth teams. We are very lucky to live in a part of the world where there is tremendous passion for the sport of hockey.”

George Atkinson, the new president of the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association, hopes that each association can create some type of event to share their passion for the sport with their community this year.

“Hockey Day gives all of our local associations an opportunity to create an event that will expose the sport of hockey to those not presently involved in their area," said Atkinson. "Events such as the ‘Hockey Is Fun' clinics have enabled interested players to try the sport for a day to see if they like it. Many of those players have found the passion and now enjoy participating in this great sport.”

Greg Hammaren, the vice president and general manager of FSN Detroit, said FSN’s commitment to Hockey Day includes the traditional CCHA doubleheader. This year it features Ohio State at Michigan State at 5:05 p.m., followed by Nebraska-Omaha versus Michigan at 8:05 p.m.

“Hockey is part of the fabric of life in Michigan which is why FSN and our partners, the Detroit Red Wings, the CCHA and MAHA share such a deep commitment to this great game,” Hammaren said.

Hockey Day in Michigan will feature contests, skills competitions, charity games and ‘Hockey Is Fun’ clinics at Novi Ice Arena and Suburban Ice-Farmington Hills . These clinics give boys and girls ages 5-11 an opportunity to experience the fun of hockey for the first time at no cost.

The second annual Hockey Weekend Across America, a nationwide initiative led by USA Hockey to celebrate the game and those involved in the sport at all levels and expose hockey to new audiences, will once again take place over President’s Day weekend, running from Feb. 13-15, 2009. Similar to the highly successful first-ever Hockey Weekend Across America, staged in the United States from Feb. 15-17, 2008, next year’s event will also feature themes for each of the three days. Friday’s theme will be Wear Your Favorite Jersey, Saturday’s will be Bring a Friend to the Rink and Sunday will be Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes.

“We are proud and excited that Hockey Day in Michigan , launched in 2006, is now part of a nationwide celebration whose scope continues to expand each year,” said CCHA commissioner Tom Anastos. “It’s a great way for everyone involved in hockey to show their passion for the sport and share that passion with others who might consider trying it or watching it. We encourage everyone to get involved and celebrate in their own way.”

To get involved or to have your event included in the list of happenings around the state on, please email or call the CCHA office at (248) 888-0600.

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