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Ice Hockey in Harlem meets the Riveters


J.J. Pavlick

The Metropolitan Riveters took over Wollman Rink in Central Park to host the Ice Hockey in Harlem program. The program helps youth players get into the game that may not otherwise have the means to play. The event was amazing seeing all the kid's faces light up as they met the professional women's hockey team from East Rutherford, NJ. The event helped the players learn new skills and let them share a common bond with athletes who had to overcome some of their obstacles and made it to the big show. Ice Hockey in Harlem isn't about producing the next Gretzky or McDavid, it's about helping kids who would otherwise not be able to play this great game have a chance to participate and possibly thrive.

Photo Credit: (Manny Fernandes @mdphotoandink and Bad Dawg Sports @jj_pavlick )

It was a night that let the professional athletes of the Metropolitan Riveters embrace their inner child while passing on valuable skills and lessons to the next generation of athletes. Ice Hockey in Harlem's history "Ice Hockey in Harlem began in the winter of 1987 with forty eager participants ranging in age from 9-12. All participants agreed to attend weekly classroom sessions and skate one night a week. In class, these IHIH pioneers were taught math, reading, and geography using hockey cities and statistics as teaching tools. With a cursory knowledge of the basics, the youngsters donned mismatched, secondhand equipment and wobbled onto the ice of Lasker Rink, an outdoor facility at the northern end of Central Park. Under the tutelage of founder Dave Wilk, Todd Levy, and former New York Ranger Pat Hickey, and other volunteers, the students were soon skating, shooting, and passing as though they had been playing the game for years. After that rookie season, the program managed to raise enough money to send one player to a summer hockey camp in California. Today, with our comprehensive programs serving more youth than ever before, our mission remains constant: EDUCATION IS THE GOAL!" (From the ice hockey in Harlem website)

The Ice Hockey in Harlem organization relies on donations to help keep the program running if you would like to help you can visit Donate Now - Let's Play Hockey ( or Equipment Donations - Let's Play Hockey ( They have other ways to help the program and you can learn more about them when you visit their website. The Riveters players stayed well after the scheduled time continuing to work with the kids and even playing a few mini-games with them after the clinic ended. This will hopefully be a yearly tradition between the organizations.

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