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Icehawks News from the Nest - September 12, 2012

By now, all of the travel teams have hit the ice for either tryouts, practices or games and by all accounts we’re off to a good start!  Who said September was football and soccer season?  This issue is focused on our youngest skaters, especially those children 8 years old and under in our Intro to Hockey and Cross Ice League.
 
2 and 2 Challenge
 
USA Hockey has implemented an initiative called the “2 and 2 Challenge”.  It is a voluntary program that is focused on attracting new skaters to our organization and retaining the young skaters that we have.  I am pleased to report that Northwestern Hockey has formally accepted the 2 and 2 Challenge for the upcoming season.
 
The Challenge, which applies to players 8 and under, is to add 2 additional new players and retain 2 additional players than we did in the previous season.  So, for Northwestern Hockey, that means bringing in 69 new players this season while retaining 87 players.  In my opinion, these are aggressive but achievable goals.
 
The plan to attract new skaters, as outlined by USA Hockey, is to participate in the “Try Hockey for Free Day” on November 3, 2012.  We will be participating by letting new skaters try hockey on that date at 8:30 a.m. at Canterbury.  We have plans to make used equipment available and our on-ice coaches have an hour of pure fun planned!  More details about how to sign up will be coming soon, but for now, please help spread the word to anyone you think might enjoy trying hockey for free!
 
To retain our existing players, we will be making phone calls to welcome them back to a new hockey season, point out the benefits of playing hockey, and encourage them to sign up again.  That effort will be organized by our In House Coordinator, Michael Gorra and will happen over the next few weeks with help from other Board members.  But, if you know a family that is on the fence about returning to hockey, please put in the good word!
 
Equipment Exchange
 
Did you know that the Northwestern Hockey web site has an easy-to-use equipment exchange?  If you have some equipment that you would like to donate or sell, or if you are in need of certain equipment, just click on the “In the Exchange” link on the right side of the home page.  Requests for listing must be approved by the webmaster, but there is no charge for this service.
 
As I mentioned above, we would like to make some smaller-sized equipment available for Try Hockey for Free Day, especially skates, helmets and gloves.  If you have any equipment that you would like to unload, please consider “donating” for use at the Try Hockey for Free Day on November 3.
 
In House Registration
 
This year, we implemented a new online registration process for all of our In House Programs.  Although we don’t accept payments online yet, the process is much easier for the parents to register, especially for returning players.  A few clicks of the mouse and the registration is complete!
 
Besides making the process more streamlined, another side benefit is that the flyers we send to the schools each year can be redesigned to be less complicated.  They no longer need to contain every detail about our In House programs and serve as a registration form.  Instead, we can give a quick overview of our programs and drive people to the Northwestern Hockey web site to register.  There will be much more room on the page that can be used creatively to make the flyer more appealing.
 
Speaking of redesigning the flyer...I am looking for an accomplished graphic designer within our organization to volunteer their time and talent to create an attractive flyer for our organization.  Please contact me if you are interested or if you know anyone who would be interested.
 
Larry Schopfer
Northwestern Hockey