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Herb Brooks Foundation’s Rink Rats youth hockey program opens this week

By Barclay Kruse, Herb Brooks Foundation Media Contact, 10/08/13, 1:45PM CDT

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After-school programs will be held at eight schools in Minneapolis

Blaine, Minn. (October 8, 2013) – The 2013-2014 season of the Herb Brooks Foundation’s Rink Rats program will kick off this week at eight schools in Minneapolis. The Rink Rat program, held in conjunction with the Minneapolis Public Schools, is dedicated to providing inner-city children the chance to play, learn and love the game of hockey at no cost.

Programs will be based at Dowling, Hale, Seward, Marcy, Bancroft, Jenny Lind, Hmong International Academy (HIA) and Waite Park Elementary Schools.  An estimated 200 kids will be skating in the Rink Rat program this year.

Kids will initially start by playing floor or field hockey. As soon as outdoor ice is available in the Minneapolis parks, the program will move to on-ice instruction on outdoor park rinks. The Rink Rat program will continue as long as outdoor ice is available. Certified coaches are provided by FHIT Hockey, a Twin Cities-based hockey training program.

“It’s the mission of the Herb Brooks Foundation to get as many kids involved in hockey as possible,” said Doug Johnson, publisher of Let’s Play Hockey magazine and a board member of the Herb Brooks Foundation.

“This is in line with the mission of the Herb Brooks Foundation and that’s to expand the base of hockey. In this case to get kids out skating and teach then something that may not just help them become a hockey player but help them in life,” continued Paul Ostby, a former University of Minnesota star and Herb Brooks Foundation advocate.

The Herb Brooks Foundation’s Rink Rat program has benefitted by the donation of skates, helmets and sticks from the National Hockey League Players’ Association’s (NHLPA) Goals & Dreams fund.

Morrie’s Automotive Group is the proud sponsor of the Herb Brooks Foundation’s Rink Rats program, with help from Total Hockey and Dave’s Sports.