Minnesota Hockey Journal

December 2015

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Page 5 of 31

NICKNAME: Lumberjacks DISTRICT: 16 HOME ICE: Bemidji Community Arena 2014-15 REGISTRATION NUMBERS: 305 (77% growth from 2013-14) PRESIDENT: Corey Rupp 06 STATE OF HOCKEY SPOTLIGHT WHY THEY'RE AWESOME Bemidji is a hockey town. From the old timers right on down to the mites, hockey is in their blood. As a result, the association, the high school and the city work together to support four ice sheets in a town with a population of 14,000 people THE BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY INFLUENCE Not all hockey towns can claim a strong connection with Division I hockey—something BYHA president Corey Rupp describes as huge for the youth players. "Just being able to have that level of hockey played in our community, right here in Bemidji for all of our kids to be able to watch and see, it's so cool," Rupp said. "You see the players in the community—they're always around, out at the rink with our youth teams." GROWING THE GAME Over the last several seasons, BYHA has taken advan- tage of the many programs available to help share the sport. Annually, they host Try Hockey For Free days and run their own program that allows new skaters to play their first season of hockey free of charge with equipment included. YOUTH HOCKEY ASSOCIATION MINNESOTAHOCKEYJOURNAL.COM // DECEMBER.2015 Bemidji

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