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Hockey In Bozeman, Montana Boosted By #VGKRoadTrip

The Golden Knights held a hockey clinic in Bozeman on Friday morning

by Dan Marrazza @GoldenKnights /

As the Director of Development for the Gallatin Ice Foundation, Anna Greenberg wakes up every morning and follows a routine.

It starts with waking up and driving to her Bozeman, Montana office. Although she starts each day with her patented positive attitude, her routine often becomes dominated by work she puts toward the Ice Barn, her town's primary ice skating facility.

And while this is largely a labor of love and source of pride for Greenberg, the maintenance the Ice Barn requires occasionally produces difficulties.

These difficulties are often driven by the challenge of acquiring the private funding that's needed to keep the facility alive and functional.

Yes, Bozeman features one of the more rabid hockey communities in the state of Montana, a fact that Greenberg cites as a reason she loves her job. This building, however, has only one ice sheet.

Ice is only laid down for part of the year here, too. 

Video: The #VGKRoadTrip visits the Ice Barn in Bozeman


Greenberg works every day toward getting it so the Ice Barn has ice 365 days a year. She's also trying to get a second sheet of ice added to the facility, too, as well as several facility upgrades.

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These tasks are coupled with the issue of building momentum for winter sports around town without a pro team nearby for locals to rally around.

That is until Saturday, when the #VGKRoadTrip rolled through town and allowed Bozeman to rally around the Golden Knights.

And with the team supplying hockey sticks and street hockey balls for the kids to both use and keep, it provided some positive momentum for Bozeman hockey.

"You guys are the first team to come through," Greenberg enthusiastically told "We're so excited!

"This is an incredible opportunity for our community. A lot of the kids that came out never played before, but people want to get involved. A lot of smiles today."

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Speaking with the Golden Knights about Vegas and Bozeman concurrently trying to emerge as hockey cities, Greenberg made another important point.

That while Montana State has a collegiate club team in town and there's a local junior team called the Icedogs, the arena floor is still checkered with many different NHL team logos during Saturday's clinic.


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This is because while Bozeman is interested in hockey, this is what happens when there isn't a local NHL team. Kind of how Vegas used to be.

As we look at the arena floor, we see what she means.

One young boy wears a New York Islanders cap. Another runs around, juking and jiving as he stickhandles through cones, in a Dylan Larkin Red Wings jersey.

Yes, there are several dozen Golden Knights shirts also, supplied by the team, that have put Vegas' logo across kids' chests.

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But there's also a kid in a Zach Parise t-shirt who cheers for the Minnesota Wild.

This is a town yearning for a flag to pledge allegiance to, making the Golden Knights' attendance on Saturday as practical as it was flattering.

"Oh my gosh, it's amazing," Greenberg says. "You can see here today, most of the kids didn't come in here with sticks, either. Most of these kids have never had the opportunity to play. They maybe don't know how to skate. But they want to play.

"The kids are super grateful for this opportunity."

Before Greenberg finishes her sentence, a youngster, no more than eight or nine-years-old, comes over to interrupt.

The kid, in a University of North Dakota t-shirt and with probably not much prior knowledge of Las Vegas or the Golden Knights, interrupts Greenberg to shake our hand.

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"Thank you very much for coming," he says, showing the sort of propriety often reserved for relatives supplying gifts on Christmas morning.


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"You see what I mean," Greenberg asks us.

And indeed we can.

The kid seems to have done this on his own, unprompted. He also seems like he just became a Golden Knights fan.

For our team, as we've canvassed the Rocky Mountains this week for the #VGKRoadTrip, we've met a lot of people in a lot of communities.

For us, these sorts of events, while still wonderful, are part of our routine.

But as we learned, the Vegas Golden Knights are still new routine for the townspeople in towns across the Rocky Mountains.

A routine that, at least in Bozeman on Friday, seemed like it could stick.

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