Friday Jan. 11th
Road trips always bring out good stories from your past, a memorable moment or weird bathroom tale seems to enter the conversation with regularity. This road trip was no exception. I was excited to get out of LA for awhile even if it was only for a few hours and head North on the 5 Freeway. This road trip was being led by Geoff Reader (Fan Development, Account Executive) and we had the pleasure of riding out of town with two LA KINGS Ice Crew members, Cassie (3rd year veteran) and Alexis (2nd year veteran). Our destination: Bakersfield, the ninth largest city in California.
This hockey season McDonalds is presenting the 2012-2013 LA KINGS Youth Hockey Skills Competition all across Southern California. These events are being run by the Fan Development Department, Chariot Staff and Ice Crew. I have been asked to Host/MC these events which allow me to visit some of the reasonably close rinks I haven’t been to yet as a representative of The LA KINGS.
Bakersfield is the second rink stop at The San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center next to the Rabobank Arena, home of The Bakersfield Condors of the ECHL
The age divisions are broken down into 8 and under, 10U, 12U,14U,16U and 18U. Each competitors must compete in 3 skills, the Agility Race, Passing Accuracy and Hardest Shot.
The top 2 highest overall ranking competitors in each age division from each rink will advance to the semi-finals at Toyota Sports Center on Saturday March 9th. The finals will be on March 16th at Staples Center during intermissions of the LA KINGS game at 7:30. The goalie competition will be held at Staples Center on March 8th.
Every participant who registers for the skills competition will be entered in a raffle for a $200 TeamLa gift card. The top 2 highest ranking overall competitors in each age division will receive 2 lower bowl tickets to the LA kings game on March 16th. (subject to change)
Every age division overall skater and goalie champion will win a personalized LA KINGS replica jersey and a signed LA KINGS canvas.
Upon arrival at The San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center several eager participants are already waiting in the lobby. Spoke with a few parents before the event began. I asked them how they felt about the Kings reaching out into local communities.
“It’s cool. It will help develop the grass roots for local hockey. More events create more interest and will lead to better players in Southern California. Especially since the Kings won it all” – Brent from Bakersfield
“Anything to increase the fan base of The Kings is great” Steve from Tehachapi
29 participants signed up for todays event. The only age division not represented was the 18U group.
The event went off without a hitch and 9 Bakersfield local kids advance to the Semi-finals in March including Local youth player Jagger Fair who advanced in his 10 & Under age division. Local media was in attendance and a group photo was taken of all 29 participants.
A cold and breezy exit and off to LA before the Grapevine froze over!
Remaining prelims are as follows.
Simi Valley- Icoplex
Sat. Jan. 19th 7:30 PM
Panorama City- LA KINGS Ice Center
Sat. Jan. 26th 10:45 AM
San Diego- Kroc Center
Friday Feb. 1st 5:45 PM
Cathedral City- Desert Ice Castle
Tues. Feb. 19th 5:15 PM
Pasadena- Pasadena Ice Skating Center
Tues. Feb. 19 6:00 PM
Friday March 8th 6:30 PM