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The Vail Recreation District will host a Division I National Collegiate Ice Hockey Weekend Nov. 15-16 at Dobson Ice Arena in Vail.
The event features competition among four of the top women’s teams in the country including St. Cloud State University, Boston University, University of Wisconsin and Northeastern University. The weekend will feature spectator opportunities during back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday afternoon and evenings, as well as a youth clinic for girls taught by University of Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson and his staff.
The first game will kick off the weekend of competition at 4 p.m. on Friday pitting St. Cloud against Boston. Then, at 7 p.m., Wisconsin will take to the ice and play Northeastern. On Saturday, St. Cloud will play Northeastern at 2 p.m. followed by a match between Boston and Wisconsin beginning at 5 p.m.
Johnson, who also coached the 2010 Women’s Olympic team to a silver medal and coaches Vail’s annual Bob Johnson Hockey School, worked with Dobson Ice Arena Manager Jared Biniecki to bring the teams to Colorado for a weekend of training and competition. “We’re excited to host Mark Johnson for the youth clinic and bring in these high-caliber teams to Vail to offer a weekend of exciting play with some of the nation’s best women ice hockey players,” said Biniecki. “Our female youth ice hockey participants and programs continue to grow and having these teams play at Dobson will offer an exciting weekend for hockey enthusiasts of all ages.”
Single day tickets cost $10 or watch both days of competition for $15. Tickets are available at Dobson Ice Arena only and may be purchased over the phone by calling 970-479-2271 or at the ice arena, located at 321 E. Lionshead Circle in Vail. All sales are final and fans are encouraged to arrive early as seating will be limited to the first 670 people through the doors. Standing areas will also be available for the games. Parking will be free and is available at the Lionshead parking structure located adjacent to Dobson Ice Arena, which is also located on Vail’s free in-town shuttle service.
In addition to the games, a girl’s-only clinic is being offered from 10 to 11 a.m. Sunday morning and will include coaching by Johnson, plus a pizza party and autograph signing with players from Univ. of Wisconsin. The clinic is for grades kindergarten through high school and participants are required to have one year of skating experience. Cost is $10 with registration is available by calling Dobson Ice Arena at 970-479-2271.
Dobson Ice Arena has continued to improve the types of programs offered for girls’ ice hockey in an effort to introduce the sport to young female athletes and support their endeavors. The first session of Intro to Girls’ Hockey is underway with the second session beginning Jan. 4. The program is for ages five to 10 and cost is $150, which includes a jersey and instruction for both novice and experienced skaters.
Dobson also features a variety of figure and ice skating opportunities for all ages with information available by going to www.vailrec.com/ice-arena. For more information, contact Biniecki via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call Dobson Ice Arena at 970-471-2271.