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    February Hockey in Alaska

    by Former Senator Mark Begich

    Posted on 2013-01-28

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    BEGICH. Mr. President, ice hockey is a popular activity in Alaska year round and especially in the winter. Today, I want to highlight hockey in my home State.



    You can find someone passing the puck around in nearly any community or military installation with a frozen lake, pond or ice rink, whether it's organized play or a pickup game. There are dozens of leagues and camps for players of all ages from the squirts and midgets to Anchorage's Aces and Seawolves and Fairbanks' Ice Dogs and Nanooks.

    At the professional level, the National Hockey League recognizes the importance of hockey in the lower ranks by sponsoring the ``Hockey Is for Everyone'' program in February. This program helps young girls and boys learn essential life skills such as commitment and perseverance.

    The NHL, along with USA Hockey, participates in the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award program, to promote activity and good nutrition. Anyone who has ever skated hard for more than a few minutes knows how healthy it can be, whether your goal is to have fun, stay fit or to play in the NHL, on the U.S. Olympic team or at the 2014 Arctic Winter Games in Fairbanks.

    Not only does playing hockey teach the ideals of teamwork, fair play and loyalty, when Alaskans get involved in fund raising, coaching, and event chaperoning, they are practicing good civics and citizenship.

    And it's exciting to watch live or broadcasted games because the sport is so fast paced, yet graceful and athletic at the same time.

    Three cheers for the players, coaches and supporters of hockey in Alaska. ____________________

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