Try hockey for free during Hockey Weekend Across America

Omama Altaleb, special to

WASHINGTON — What’s cooler than the weather outside? How about trying hockey for the first time.

For seven years, USA Hockey has hosted a nationwide initiative, Hockey Weekend Across America, to increase the hockey fan base.

The event runs Feb. 28 to March 2.

Hockey fans are encouraged to celebrate their love of the game by kicking off the weekend with Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey Day on Friday. The Washington Capitals are asking fans to tweet photos of their Caps jerseys with #TryHockey4Free or #HWAA to @WashCaps and @CapsYouthHockey.

For those who don’t know much about hockey, the NHL is sponsoring Try Hockey Day on Saturday, to give 4- to 9-year-old boys and girls across the country an opportunity to learn the basics of hockey.

Among the 500 rinks participating in the nationwide event are local rinks in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area. If you are interested in trying hockey for a day, register here.

Virginia Rinks and Times:

  • Mt. Vernon Rec Center – Alexandria, Va. – 2 p.m.
  • Main Street Arena – Charlottesville, Va. – 11:45 a.m.
  • Chilled Ponds Ice & Turf Sports Complex – Chesapeake, Va. – noon
  • Richmond Ice Zone – North Chesterfield, Va. – 12:20 p.m.
  • Iceland of Hampton Roads – Virginia Beach, Va. – 7:30 a.m.
  • Prince William Ice Center – Woodbridge, Va. – 2 p.m.

Maryland Rinks and Times:

  • Ice World – Abingdon, Md. – 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • Herbert Wells Ice Rink – College Park, Md. – 6 p.m.
  • Columbia Ice Rink – Columbia, Md. – 12:20 p.m.
  • Talbot County Community Center Ice Rink – Easton, Md. – 6 p.m.
  • Skate Frederick – Frederick, Md. – 10 a.m.
  • Hagerstown Ice and Sports Complex – Hagerstown, Md. – 10:30 a.m.
  • The Gardens Ice House – Laurel, Md. – 10 a.m.
  • Piney Orchard Ice Arena – Odenton, Md. – 11 a.m.
  • Reisterstown Sportsplex – Reisterstown, Md. – 11 a.m.

The weekend will conclude Sunday by honoring local hockey heroes with Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day and a game between the Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers, which will be televised 12:30 p.m., Sunday on NBC.

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