Minnesota Hockey Journal

February 2020

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HOME ICE: Ely Ice Arena DISTRICT: PRESIDENT: Bill Forsberg 12 Timberwolves NICKNAME: 80 2019-20 REGISTRATION NUMBERS: M H J O N L I N E . C O M | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 10 of STATE HOCKEY Ely State of Hockey Spotlight WHY THEY'RE AWESOME In Ely, hockey practice starts an hour and 15 minutes after school ends for the day. But step inside Ely Ice Arena, and it's already bustling with dozens of kids. Some are in full gear, perfecting their stickhandling or playing a game of pick-up hockey. Others are gathered in the warming house doing homework. The hour of open hockey allows time for kids from neighboring communities of Babbitt and Tower to travel to practice. It's a simple way for kids of all ages to bond with their teammates, and it's open to anyone who wants to join. "It's become this really tight-knit community that people are excited to be a part of," said Ely Youth Hockey Association President, Bill Forsberg. The energy and camaraderie is also encouraging a new wave of hockey players to lace their skates. "It's huge," Forsberg said. "It's not just our program kids—it's other kids that want to come out and skate. I think that's drawing some excitement, which is helping to build our Learn to Skate and Mite programs. We're seeing more kids here than we have in years." DEDICATED TEAM Ely may be a small community, but it's doing its part in growing the Ely Youth Hockey Association to new heights. "We have dedicated coaches that really focus on player development," Forsberg said. "They aren't afraid to stop a drill if a few kids haven't got the Photos / Ely Youth Hockey Association by Elizabeth Boger P R E S E N T E D B Y

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