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Press Release

Kraft Hockeyville USA announces Top 10 finalists

Voting begins Tuesday to decide winning community which will receive $150,000, host preseason game

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com

Hockeyville: Top 10

Hockeyville: The top 10 communities have been chosen

The top 10 most passionate hockey communities have been chosen, take a look at some of the best communities in hockey across the USA

  • 01:23 •

CHICAGO -- Communities across the country have shown their local pride and love of hockey, and now 10 of them are one step closer to being awarded the title of Kraft Hockeyville™ USA 2017.

The Kraft Heinz search for America's most passionate hockey community - in partnership with the National Hockey League (NHL®), National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), NBC Sports Group and USA Hockey - led to almost 1,300 local rink nominations across the United States, accounting for nearly 73 percent of rinks nationwide, according to USA Hockey data. With the nominations now narrowed down to 10 finalists, the first round of public voting will begin April 11 at www.krafthockeyville.com.

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Hockeyville USA

Nominations open for Kraft Hockeyville USA

Community voted most passionate about hockey gets chance to host NHL preseason game

by NHL Public Relations @PR_NHL / NHL.com

CHICAGO - Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA is officially back and nominations are open to find America's most spirited and enthusiastic hockey communities. Towns across the U.S. can now contend for the coveted title of "Kraft HockeyvilleTM USA 2017" and enter for a chance to host an NHL® Pre-Season game televised live on NBCSN and $150,000 in arena upgrades. All the program partners are back -- the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA), National Hockey League (NHL®), NBC Sports Group and USA Hockey -- to support the search to find the ten communities across the U.S. that exhibit the most pride, passion and love for the game of hockey. A formal announcement will be made during NBC's broadcast of the 2017 Bridgestone NHL® Winter Classic outdoor game between the St. Louis Blues® and the Chicago Blackhawks® at Busch Stadium in St. Louis.

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Hockeyville USA

Sabres, Hurricanes enjoy Hockeyville USA experience

Buffalo wins 'fun game to be a part of' in Marquette, Michigan

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. - When the buzzer sounded Tuesday, the winners according to the scoreboard were the Buffalo Sabres, who defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 2-0, but the real winners were the people of Marquette.

The capacity crowd of 3,100-plus at Lakeview Arena gave the teams a standing ovation at the preseason game's conclusion, a fitting end to the events of the past few days for the city that was named Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016 in April.

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game recap

Sabres shut out Hurricanes at Hockeyville

Robin Lehner wins preseason game in Marquette, Michigan

NHL.com @NHL

Nicolas Deslauriers and Sam Reinhart scored to back the shutout goaltending of Robin Lehner for the Buffalo Sabres in a 2-0 preseason win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

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Hockeyville USA

Ryan O'Reilly, Jeff Skinner go back to school

Buffalo center, Carolina forward meet with students before Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016 preseason game

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O'Reilly and Carolina Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner got to relieve a bit of their childhoods Tuesday.

They took part in a question-and-answer session with students at Bothwell Middle School before playing in a floor hockey game with some lucky participants.

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Hockeyville USA

Jack Eichel to play in Hockeyville game

Sabres center will make preseason debut after taking part in World Cup

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Buffalo Sabres center Jack Eichel will make his preseason debut Tuesday, although it will feel more like a regular-season game.

Eichel and the Sabres will play the Carolina Hurricanes at Lakeview Arena in Marquette, Michigan, the winner of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016. The arena received $150,000 in upgrades and the game will be nationally televised (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

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Hockeyville USA

Marquette has special guests at Hockeyville parade

Johnstown organizers proud to pass mantle to 2016 contest winner

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- As the winner of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016, Marquette, Michigan, received $150,000 in arena upgrades and a chance to host a nationally televised NHL preseason game at Lakeview Arena between the Carolina Hurricanes and Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN).

Events took place in the city throughout the weekend leading up to the game, among them a parade through the town that included local businesses and hockey players from all levels. There also were two important people present from Johnstown, Pennsylvania, the winner of the inaugural Kraft Hockeyville USA contest last season, who officially handed the Kraft Hockeyville USA title to the people of Marquette.

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Hockeyville USA

Stop Hunger Now teams with Kraft at Hockeyville

Partners thrilled with success of effort to alleviate worldwide hunger

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- In addition to awarding money for arena repairs and a nationally televised preseason NHL game to Lakeview Arena in Marquette as the winner of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016, Kraft also partnered with Stop Hunger Now in an effort to help alleviate and eventually eliminate worldwide hunger.

"This is the first year we brought the Stop Hunger Now event to the Kraft Hockeyville celebration and basically it was a group of 1,000 Marquette Senior High School students that came together to assemble hunger relief meals that we distribute around the world to stop hunger now," Jenece Upton, manager, Kraft Heinz company foundation and community relations said. "It was really just a special way to involve the community in a different way and leverage the excitement of Hockeyville to do something good for the global community."

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Hockeyville USA

Walt Kyle cherishing big night at Hockeyville

Longtime Northern Michigan coach shares fond memories of Lakeview Arena

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Walt Kyle has done it all during his hockey career.

The hockey coach at Northern Michigan University since 2002, Kyle has played and served as an assistant coach for the school, was an assistant in the NHL, and has held various coaching positions in the Western Hockey League, the International Hockey League and American Hockey League.

But he is proud to called Marquette, Michigan home, especially this week, when the small town in Michigan's Upper Peninsula will host Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016.

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Hockeyville USA

Brad May happy to give back

Retired NHL forward lending time, talent to Kraft Hockeyville in Marquette, Michigan

by David Satriano @davidsatriano / NHL.com Staff Writer

MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Brad May was on the ice at Lakeview Arena for several youth hockey clinics Sunday in Marquette, Michigan, the town that was named Kraft Hockeyville USA 2016 winner with the arena receiving $150,000 in upgrades. 

One session included kids trying hockey for the first time, something the retired NHL forward remembers doing as well.

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