Rushmore Thunder see record Try Hockey for Free Day turnout

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Sanctioned by USA Hockey, youth hockey associations across the country— including the Rushmore Hockey Association— celebrated Try Hockey for Free Day Saturday.

The RHA entertained 62 young rookie skaters, the most it's ever received for the event.

Kids had the chance to lace up the skates, deck themselves out in pads and helmets, and step onto the ice to try the sport for themselves.

Several Rushmore Thunder players, as well as Rapid City Rush mascot Nugget, were also on hand to help their friends and peers out on the ice.

While the event helps kids grow as hockey players in just one hour, it also helps recruit more future Thunder skaters.

"Obviously, it's going to grow the program from the Mites level up,” said Emily Wheaton, coordinate of the RHA Mites. “When you get them out there between 3 and 9 years old, and show them how fun hockey can be, they're gonna want to play all the way through high school."

And kids, or Mites as they're called at the Thunderdome, still have time to sign up to play this season if interested. You can visit the RHA website for more information.

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