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Park City’s league their own

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

Just one year after opening their doors, the Park City Ice Arena is already making strides to create its own youth hockey leagues in the area. Starting in the new year, a youth hockey league will take to the ice.

According to Park City Ice Arena hockey director Deb Modrovsky, the new league will follow a USA Hockey-recommended format for children ages 10 and under called cross ice hockey, which is a modified three-on-three competition. When kids are small, the sprawling ice can be a bit too much for small skaters to handle so less complicated games allow them to participate more and focus on the fundamentals of the game.

The new league will be self-contained with all practices and games will be held at the Park City rink. Modrovsky says that they will draw from the kids that have completed the youth Learn to Play hockey classes and the advanced Learn to Play Hockey classes, as well as other younger kids in the community that may have recently started learning the game at a Salt Lake rink.

Modrovsky expects that it may take a year or so for the league to truly become established. With many kids in the community already involved in other winter sports or playing in Salt Lake leagues, new teams will have to wait until next season when parents can put Park City hockey onto their youngster’s agenda,.

"That’s the great unknown," Modrovsky said. "We’ve got kids already in ski programs. Next fall, if kids want ice hockey, they’ll have it now."

Modrovsky envisions teams of eight to 10 kids, but says that initially a team of six or seven will do.

"This is our first baby step into establishing youth hockey," Modrovsky said.

Modrovsky says that the younger kids’ league will continue to follow the cross ice style even as the league grows each year, but the advanced players, who are generally ages 8-13, will likely move to regular ice hockey rules as participation increases.

"Ultimately, the goal is to have a whole youth hockey program." Modrovsky said.

this, she means a fully competitive program that can compete on the same level as the more established programs in Salt Lake, Ogden and Provo. It will take some time, but Modrovsky says that as the kids get older and the community support increases, the youth program will grow. She says this transition may take about two years, so kids already playing competitive hockey in Salt Lake may want to wait until that time to make the move to the Park City league.

The children’s program will complement the new adult league which will also start in the new year. Modrovsky says that registration for the Adult Ice Hockey League is currently available. They will have an A/B league for beginners who have completed the Learn to Play Hockey class and a C/D level for recreational and competitive players.

In general, the interest in learning and playing organized hockey has been steadily growing for all ages, so the rink is trying to fill the desires of the community at a cautious pace.

"We have had a lot of people that want to play on a team," Modrovsky said. "There’s always been interest. There’s a lot of support for it and it’s a program that helps us survive as a rink."

Youth cross ice hockey will be held Saturdays and Mondays, in January and February (no games or practices will be held on Feb. 17 and 19 due to President’s Day). The one-hour program will run on Sat., 7:30 a.m. and 8:45 am and Mon., 5:45 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. The cost is $120. Teams of 8 – 10 players will be formed for ages 6 13, depending on signups. Games of 3 vs. 3 will be played across the ice. No score is kept and "games" are refereed by the coaches. One game and one practice for each team will be scheduled per week during the Saturday and Monday ice times. Actual game and practice times will be determined based on signups. Full hockey equipment is required. All cross ice participants must register with USA Hockey at http://www.usahockey.com for $38.50 a year.

To register for the adult leagues, visit http://www.pcice.org or the Park City Ice Rink. The A/B league games will be held Tuesday evenings beginning Jan. 9 from 6:45 p.m. 11 p.m. The C/D league games will be held Sunday evenings beginning Jan. 7 from 7:30 p.m. 10:30 p.m. The cost of the A/B League is $200 for 14 games and the C/D League is $160. For more information contact Modrovsky at 615-5702 or dmodrovsky@parkcity.org.


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