Each year the Kraft Hockeyville competition picks one small ice rink to host an NHL preseason game and get $150,000 in upgrades. This year, the Rockville Ice Arena in Maryland is one of ten finalists for the big prize.
Rockville Ice Arena is the home of the USA Warriors.
Together we’re gonna win it for them and get important upgrades for veterans and youth hockey. Let’s do it.
There are two ways to vote. You can:
I did it. It’s easy. Watch:
John L., a player for Warriors, tells RMNB what the rink means to him.
Since my return from Afghanistan, I have been practicing with the Warriors at Rockville every Wednesday night and have played countless games at the Arena. The support the arena provides to the Warriors is second to none, allowing the USA Warriors to successfully fulfill their mission to encourage individuals who have physical disabilities incurred during service to the United States to participate in the sport of ice hockey in an environment that is adapted to the level of their ability.
To me, this mission served a critical role in my recovery, and helped me with the transition and being able to adapt after I was medically evacuated from Afghanistan. When I was at Rockville Ice Arena, sitting in the locker room with the team, it was like I had that sense of family, unit cohesion I lost when I was pulled away from my Unit and sent to Fort Belvoir Community Hospital from downrange. It’s something special, that military bonding you can’t find anywhere else. Rockville Ice Arena continues to support the USA Warriors to allow the program to support the nations wounded and disabled veterans.
Allison O. from the Warriors shares some background on the rink.
Rockville Ice Arena is an Ice Arena with two full size rinks and a special small rink for Atoms, Mites, and Squirts and is located in Rockville, Maryland.
Even though Maryland may not be a huge hockey state, the Potomac/Rockville/Bethesda area loves hockey. In the area and at this rink we have public high schools Winston Churchill Hockey in Potomac (2016 MSHL Champions), Wooton Hockey in Rockville, Walter Johnson Hockey in Bethesda, and Walt Whitman Hockey in Bethesda as well. We also have prep school teams such as Landon Bears Hockey in Bethesda (2016 MAPHL Champions), St. John’s Hockey, Bullis Hockey in Potomac, Georgetown Hockey, and Gonzaga Hockey. The rink also does a lot for youth hockey. It is the home of Team Maryland AAA, which have produced NHLers William Nylander and Jarred Tinordi. It is also the Washington Pride, a women’s hockey team, and home of the MYHA rec hockey and their AA, A, and B hockey teams.
The rink has also hosted the Silver Sticks tournament, Super Series, and the Junior Women’s Hockey League Challenge Cup. The rink also host adult hockey such as USA Warriors for veterans who play hockey and has Hockey North America programs that play there. The rink itself is a green rink, meaning it uses solar panels for electricity and has a water bottle filler to reduce the use of plastic bottles. They also host multiple hockey camps and have experienced instructors lead them.
The rink offers a learn to play program where they provide free gear. They also have an amazing pro shop with Team Maryland and MYHA gear, an-in rink restaurant great for team parties, a cafe great for parents taking their kids to the rink in the early morning, and an upstairs lounge with box style seating great for the elderly.
The rink also has a bit of sentimental value to myself as it was the place where I first played hockey and where I fell in love with playing the game. It is also where my high school team has won championships together and have created memories for a lifetime.
Also, they broadcast every caps game which is great because you never miss more of a Caps game than you have too. As you can tell, the arena is packed with hockey loving Marylanders who would be honored to have the title of Hockeyville USA. And 150 grand also wouldn’t hurt.
I’m sure we’ve convinced you by now to vote, but lemme try one more time just in case. $150,000 means moar gear and better gear for veterans– giving back to an underserved group who have given the rest of us so much already. It also means more opportunities for young people who want to learn the game. This is a no-brainer, and it would be transformative for lots of people
All you have to do is vote. Here’s how:
And if you wouldn’t mind, please give this article a signal boost if you can.
Big thanks to John and Allison and everyone else who emailed us.
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