In Minnesota, we have a love affair with hockey tournaments. We love the competition. We love seeing a local kid like Matt Cullen, Paul Martin or Zach Parise make it to the big show. But at the core of hockey is having fun, and for hockey players, this can be accomplished whether they are bound for glory in the NHL, or whether they just want to play the game among friends for the rest of their lives.
As many hockey playing kids enter their high school years, they are faced with a decision of whether to continue to play this great game. Some who aren’t destined to play high school hockey, or aren’t able to commit the time required to play Junior Gold. Some just want a relaxed atmosphere and a place to play with others who are looking for a good time and a place to work on their game with no pressure. These kids shouldn’t have to feel that there aren’t any other hockey playing options.
The Herb Brooks XL Hockey League, an affiliate of Minnesota Hockey for the 2012-2013 season, provides high schoolers that opportunity. Games are played at a number of Twin Cities arenas (including Mariucci Arena and the Schwan Super Rink) on Sunday afternoons or evenings. There aren’t any practices, and the most important thing is to have a good time.
Teams are formed from every conference in the Minnesota State High School League and players can sign up individually, or request to play with friends. There are two divisions of play depending on experience.
The shared goal of the XL Hockey League, the Herb Brooks Foundation and Minnesota Hockey is to grow the game and give everyone a chance to play. If you or your kid is interested in playing, it’s never too late. Contact Josh Leddy at 763-458-0568 or Josh@xlhockeyleague.com.