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Street hockey action heats up the summer

by Tom Coyne / Nashville Predators
GNASH drops the puck at the Hot Shots Summerfest Tour stop at Camp Widjiwagan on June 20, 2007.
The month of June has seen exciting street hockey action for the Predators Hot Shots Summerfest Tour. This summer’s tour put the puck into play June 1st at the YMCA’s Camp Widjiwagan at Joe C. Davis YMCA in Antioch, TN. Predators Amateur & Youth Hockey staff and team mascot GNASH were greeted by an enthusiastic group of 25 campers and counselors who were excited to participate in street hockey drills before putting these techniques into action with a fast-paced scrimmage. The weather was warm and the atmosphere was fun as the kids ranging in age 8 to 12 hustled up and down the rink with sticks in hand.

Summerfest Tour kept the wheels turning and sticks slapping with a visit to the Franklin Family YMCA Summer Camp in Franklin, TN on June 11th. The gymnasium was filled with the echoing voices of vocal youngsters as they participated in several stick handling and puck control stations. Cheers reached a crescendo when a surprise appearance from Preds' team mascot GNASH kicked off street hockey game action. There was no shortage of energy or enthusiasm as the nearly 50 kids between the ages of 5 and 12 bolted around chasing the puck.

The wheels and good times continued to roll as the Summerfest Tour made its next stop the following day at Cason Lane Academy on June 12th in Murfreesboro, TN. A group of 30 kids from the Extended School Program took to the parking lot to sharpen their skills. These 4th - 6th graders showed eagerness in doing the drills and as they faced off against each other in an outdoor scrimmage.

The Summerfest Tour turned the second week in June into a hat trick of appearances with a stop at the Hendersonville Inline Hockey Skills Camp on June 13th. Preds team mascot GNASH was on hand to participate in the inline hockey drills with this group of 50 kids at Veteran’s Park in Hendersonville, TN. The camp taught kids ages 5-12 various skating, passing, and shooting skill development drills.

Last but certainly not least, the Predators Amateur & Youth Hockey staff rolled the Summerfest Tour back into Camp Widjiwagan were a group of 25 fresh faces were eager to display their skills. After exciting singing and cheers led by a group of camp counselors and guest conductor GNASH, the kids dove into the street hockey drills with no hesitation. The covered street hockey rink provided shade over the shining smiles on the faces of the participants as they kept the excitement level high throughout the morning at Joe C. Davis YMCA in Antioch, TN.

The Predators Hot Shots Summerfest Tour will be on a brief hiatus with the upcoming Fourth of July holiday and the start of the Predators Hockey School the week of July 9th at Centennial Sportsplex. The action then fires back up on July 19th with a stop scheduled at the Sumner County YMCA in Hendersonville, TN. It has been an eventful and thrilling summer so far, with more tour stops to come through July and August. The Summerfest Tour looks forward to keeping the wheels and the hockey excitement rolling.
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