Utica is a hockey town through and through and the city and surrounding areas live and breath the high intensity sport. From the Utica Comets to Utica University Pioneers to so many teams and leagues in between there is rarely a shortage of enjoyment on the ice.

With the addition of the Nexus Center hockey can be played year round in any season and by teams all over the nation. In fact, Utica is continually being put on the map for hockey in various forms. One big example coming up in April is the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) Women's World Championship coming to the Adirondack Bank Center. That will be a world class event coming right to the heart of our small city.

A few years back our region was bestowed with the honor of Kraft Hockeyville in Clinton, NY. A national recognition of small town hockey pride. Of course, with Nexus' opening we have seen tournaments for youth hockey at various levels being hosted right here in Utica and that is the emphasis of what organizers of the "Try Hockey for Free" event are hoping to continue to grow. Youth hockey is something that will help continue the passion for a sport such as this and not many people have had the chance to get to know the sport or see if they'd have a knack or passion for it.

The event, hosted by the Oneida County Hockey Club, is being held on Sunday, February 24th, 2024 at the New Hartford Rec Center located at 4 Mill Street in New Hartford. Both boys and girls ages 4-12. The only condition is that the child can't already be playing any form of youth hockey. This event is being sponsored by USA Hockey and the New Hartford and Whitestown Youth Hockey Associations. All you need to have your child brings is sweatpants, gloves (of any kind) and a smile. Let USA Hockey and the joy of the sport do the rest.

To register simply visit this website: https://www.tryhockeyforfree.com/.

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