Fifty-two mite teams from the metro Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota enjoyed perfect outdoor hockey weather at the second annual Sticks in Stillwater Mite Hockey Festival, January 14-15, 2017. Temperatures in the 20's and bright sunshine greeted the players and their fans.
All players were 6, 7 or 8 years old. A total of 104 mite games were played over the course of the weekend. Games were three-on-three, with no goalies, on smaller sheets of ice. Eight sheets of outdoor ice were configured at the St. Croix Valley Recreation Center.
Any Sticks in Stillwater proceeds after expenses will benefit the Herb Brooks Foundation to further its mission to make hockey accessible and affordable to all kids. The Foundation has been running highly popular “Rink Rats” programs throughout the fall and winter in both Minneapolis and St. Paul. The Rink Rats program targets kids who normally wouldn’t have access to traditional hockey programs, providing free equipment and coaching.
In addition to the outdoor hockey, players and their families enjoyed meeting hockey celebrities such as Henry Boucha, Rob McClanahan, Bill Butters, Aaron Broten and Jack Carlson.
Here is a photo gallery of some of the images from a great weekend!