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Thursday's Practice Report

Avs Hold Optional Skate; Hockey Weekend Across America Info

Thursday, 02.17.2011 / 11:53 AM MT / Features
By Aaron Lopez  - Special to
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Thursday\'s Practice Report

Hockey Weekend Across America

The fourth annual celebration of hockey in the United States will take place from Feb. 18-20. Below are some details on how you can get involved.

Friday, Feb. 18
Help celebrate Hockey Weekend Across America by wearing your Avalanche jersey to work or school during Wear Your Favorite Jersey Day. Submit a picture of you and your friends to USA Hockey’s Facebook page and help spread your love of hockey and the Avalanche.

Saturday, Feb. 19
Try Hockey for Free Clinics will be held in multiple locations. This endeavor allows new players to test out the sport in a safe, fun environment. The Avalanche will host a Learn to Skate session from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Rocky Mountain Roller Hockey in Lakewood.  To sign up now, visit

Over 200 rinks nationwide will participate in the Try Hockey for Free event. Click here for a full list.

Locally, clinics will be held in Breckinridge, Woodland Park and Pueblo. Contact your local rink for details.

Sunday, Feb. 20
In honor of Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes Day on Sunday (Feb. 20), USA Hockey is asking fans to post stories, photos or videos of their hockey heroes to USA Hockey's Facebook page

With two full days before their next game, the Avs held an optional practice Thursday morning at Family Sports Center.

A total of eight skaters and both of the team’s goalies took part in the skate, which lasted approximately an hour and was led by assistant coaches Sylvain Lefebvre and Steve Konowalchuk, with assistance from goaltending consultant Kirk McLean.

There wasn’t much breaking news coming out of today’s practice.

Jonas Holos, who is recovering from a head injury, was among the players who took part in the optional skate. The defenseman was recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters on Feb. 10 and appeared in one game before suffering a head injury that has caused him to miss the past three contests.

Also of note, Matt Duchene skated on his own earlier in the morning, putting himself through a number of conditioning drills in an effort to stay in shape while he recovers from a hand injury.

The Avalanche announced on Wednesday that the center would be out indefinitely after sustaining the injury during Monday’s loss to the Calgary Flames.

Hockey Weekend Across America
The fourth annual Hockey Weekend Across America, presented by Reebok, will take place nationwide Feb. 18-20. This three-day celebration of the sport will have a different theme each day.

Friday is “Wear Your Favorite Hockey Jersey,” Saturday is “Bring A Friend to the Rink” and Sunday is “Celebrate Local Hockey Heroes.”

New to the festivities is NBC Sports’ Hockey Day in America on Sunday from 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. MT, which will include an NHL doubleheader and content throughout the broadcast that showcases all levels of hockey in the United States.

Avalanche defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who began attending USA Hockey Select Camps at the age of 13 and went on to spend two years at the U.S. National Team Development Program in Ann Arbor, is excited about not only how far the sport has come in the United States, but also where it’s potentially headed.

“USA Hockey has been great to me and going to the National Development Program was a great step in my career,” said Shattenkirk. “Looking at it now, we’re a country where hockey is still growing.

"I think USA Hockey is doing their part in marketing the game and trying to get it out there for kids to pick up. You see kids now coming from Texas and California, and it just shows how the sport has grown.”

See the sidebar at the right for more details on Hockey Weekend Across America, and visit to read about all of the organization’s plans for the weekend.
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