NW Spotlight - Antigo hockey kids 11-13Submitted: 11/13/2013
Story By Marisa Silvas

NW Spotlight - Antigo hockey kids 11-13
ANTIGO - There aren't many things cuter than little kids on skates. A group of aspiring hockey players took the ice in Antigo - and they did it for free.

Put kids on skates, and it's like learning how to walk again. But they were at the rink with one goal in mind.

8-year-old Anja Strong proudly proclaims, "I really want to be a hockey player."

"I like ice skating a lot," adds 10-year-old Wyatt Dickman.

And 6-year-old Aili Strong told us, "I said, can we go and play hockey?"

USA Hockey and the NHL teamed up to offer Try Hockey for Free Day. Antigo joined nearly 500 local rinks throughout the country in hosting the event earlier this month.

Dom Hilger is the vice president of the Antigo Area Youth Hockey Association (AAYHA). He says, "We ended up with 40 kids this year, so if we retain half of that, it'll be great for our program."

Boys and girls between the ages of 4 and 9 took to the ice... and some needed more help than others.

Coaches say it's important to introduce kids to the sport at an early age.

SOTS - Dom "If they want to start when they're 10, 11, 12, 13 - sometimes it's harder for them to get acclimated," Hilger explains. "Because it's such a fast paced game."

A record 12,000 skaters took advantage of the free day across the country.

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