Hockey fans in Western New York will have the opportunity to participate in a pair of local events to celebrate the third annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok. The festivities begin this Friday, January 29, and run through Sunday, January 31.
As part of Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey day on Friday, the Buffalo Sabres and USA Hockey are encouraging players of all ages and skill levels to wear their favorite hockey jerseys to school. Then, on Saturday (Jan. 30), players can bring a friend to the rink to try hockey for free at the Amherst Pepsi Center from 10:50 a.m. - 12:10 p.m. EST. Sabres’ mascot Sabretooth will also be in attendance at this event.
A total of 135 rinks in 33 states will participate in USA Hockey's Try Hockey for Free initiative on Saturday. The 135 rinks will provide those new to hockey an opportunity to try it without cost.
Hockey Weekend Across America was started by USA Hockey in 2008 to provide a framework for the hockey community to celebrate the game at all levels, while also exposing the sport to new audiences.
“There are tremendous things happening in our sport in all parts of the nation,” said Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey, “and it's only appropriate that we utilize Hockey Weekend Across America to celebrate those accomplishments.”
Each of the three days of Hockey Weekend Across America has a theme, including:
- Friday – Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey, sponsored by ShopUSAHockey.com
- Saturday – Bring a Friend to the Rink, sponsored by the NHL
- Sunday – Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes, sponsored by the Liberty Mutual Responsible Sports program
USA Hockey is also conducting a best Hockey Weekend Across America programming contest for its local associations across the country, with the grand-prize winner receiving a voucher for $5,000 of Reebok Hockey gear. Additionally, five runners-up will receive $1,000 of Reebok Hockey goods. The entry form can be obtained at HockeyWeekendAcrossAmerica.com