A Summer Spent Growing the Game
Throughout the summer, the Cleveland Monsters continued community efforts in “growing the game” of hockey in Northeast Ohio. The Monsters hosted a Summer Street Hockey Series, beginning in June and concluding in August, with stops at four of the 14 Monsters 2018 Certified Learn to Play rinks including Gilmour Academy Ice Arena, Elyria North Park Ice Arena, Brooklyn Recreation Center and Cleveland Heights Community Center. The Summer Street Hockey Series wrapped up earlier this month with a downtown clinic at Nautica Entertainment Complex.
The 90-minute Grow the Game Street Hockey clinics focused on the fundamentals of hockey including shooting, passing and stick handling. Instruction was taught by coaches from area Learn to Play rinks and Monsters staff members including Cleveland hockey legend and NHL Stanley Cup Champion Jock Callander. Current Monsters goaltender Brad Thiessen and former Monsters player, Russ Sinkewich, provided instruction at the Grow the Game Street Hockey finale at Nautica Entertainment Complex.
Overall, the five clinics had nearly 700 participants including approximately 400 without prior hockey experience. The Grow the Game clinics introduced these local kids to hockey for the first time.
In the week following the Summer Street Hockey Series conclusion, the Monsters hosted four days of on-ice clinics at OBM Arena in Strongsville, Ohio. Under coaching leadership of Jock Callander, Russ Sinkewich and Monsters' organization members, these clinics offered a greater development of hockey fundamentals for young kids.
To cap off the summer, the team recently announced a Monsters' Community Fund donation of 500 hockey helmets to the 14 local partnered Learn to Play programs. Cost of participation and access to equipment are among the biggest obstacles preventing youth from joining local hockey teams - with this helmet donation, the Cleveland Monsters hope to break down these barriers and grow the game in Northeast Ohio. The Monsters Community Fund is dedicated to supporting local programs that positively impact areas of education, youth hockey, health & wellness and basic needs.