Minnesota Hockey Journal

March 2020

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HOME ICE: Delano Area Sports Arena DISTRICT: PRESIDENT: Justin Burud 3 Tigers NICKNAME: 300 2019-20 REGISTRATION NUMBERS: M H J O N L I N E . C O M | M A R C H 2 0 2 0 10 of STATE HOCKEY Delano State of Hockey Spotlight WHY THEY'RE AWESOME In the small communities of Delano and Rockford, kids of all ages savor the opportunity to play hockey together any chance they get. The annual Skate with the Tigers event at the outdoor rink in Rockford is an event they especially enjoy. It's a high-energy practice that not only strengthens the bond between the high school players and the Delano Area Youth Hockey Association—it's a tradition that defines the true culture of the community. "The high school kids are really great with the younger kids," said Justin Burud, president of the Delano Area Youth Hockey Association. "It's awe- some. A lot of the kids look up to them, and they take the time to play with them. It's such a wonderful time." Even on days off, it's tough for players to stay away from the ice. "A lot of these kids get to skate together in an unorganized, very authentic way," said Gerrit van Bergen, head coach of the Delano High School boys hock- ey team and a member of the Hockey Development Committee. "Whether they're on the pond or on someone's backyard rink—you'll see high school kids out there on their day off on a Sunday, and before you know if, there are a couple of other little kids out there getting to know them and trying to keep up with them." Those moments have fostered a connection that's been integral in growing the hockey community. "I think it's a huge piece of our culture," van Bergen said. "It's why we've been able to continue to grow." Photos / Delano Area Youth Hockey Association The annual Skate with the Tigers is a fixture in the community. by Elizabeth Boger P R E S E N T E D B Y

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