NEW YORK -- "Inside Out 2," the follow-up to the Oscar-winning "Inside Out," was screened for over 100 girls hockey players at the Paley Center for Media in New York on Thursday.

The special screening also came with a sizable $75,000 donation from the Congressional Hockey Challenge to the NHL Foundation’s Empowerment Grant Program for Girls Hockey.

"I think it's tremendous just because you're providing accessibility for the sport," Haley Skarupa, an Olympic gold medalist and three-time world champion who is now NHL Foundation U.S. ambassador and the U.S. Women’s National Team head scout, said of the donation before the screening. "Hockey, as we all know, is difficult to get into because the equipment is expensive, everything is expensive, so having those events, clinics, learn-to-play opportunities, free equipment to get out there is super important."

The mega-hit movie sequel, like the original, centers around the emotions of Riley, who herself is a youth hockey player. In the original, joining a youth hockey team helped Riley cope with her sadness after her family moved from Minnesota to San Francisco. The sequel features a now-teenaged Riley who is coming into her own on the ice.

The movie features the voice of Kendall Coyne Schofield, a member of the gold medal-winning 2018 USA Women's National Team and captain of PWHL champion Minnesota.


Also in attendance was PWHL New York forward Madison Packer, who sported a shirt that read "Everyone Watches Women's Sports," and had her young daughter in tow.

"This is an incredible celebration for the game of hockey. To have this many girls, and kids in general, together, watching (a movie) that centers around the sport is not something that I had as a kid," Packer said fresh off the successful inaugural season for the PWHL. "I think it's incredible for the growth of the game and shows how far the game has come and how important representation is."

Smiles were in abundance before the free screening of the highly anticipated sequel. Before the young players filed into the theatre, some posed for a picture with an oversized novelty check representing the donation from the Congressional Hockey Challenge.

"We're really grateful to the Congressional Hockey Challenge. I played in it last year, which was fun, because I am from (Washington D.C.)," Skarupa said. "Everyone who is involved with that event there is amazing, and we are so thankful for them because this would not be possible without them. We're really excited to see how we can grow the game at the grassroots level with their contribution."