Hanson brothers, NHL alums highlight Classic | SteamboatToday.com

Hanson brothers, NHL alums highlight Classic

Bernie Nicholls, who played more than 1,100 games during his National Hockey League career, instructs kids during the 2016 Steamboat Hockey Classic at Howelsen Ice Arena. The event returns this weekend and will be capped by an alumni game Saturday evening.

— In its three seasons, the Steamboat Hockey Classic has already offered major benefits to youth hockey in Steamboat Springs.

By bringing in retired National Hockey League players for skills showcases and an annual alumni game, the event has raised more than $100,000.

It will surely add to that total this weekend, as the event skates back into town with a roster of more than a dozen former NHLers and the Hanson brothers, who were players and actors in the 1977 movie “Slap Shot.”

Now as the Classic prepares for its fourth go-around, it’s poised to expand upon that influence. This year’s event will feature a pair of youth hockey clinics, giving those pros a chance to do more than just facilitate financial help for local skaters, but to show them how the game is played.

A youth hockey camp is set for 4:30 p.m. Friday. Another, focused for young girls playing hockey and featuring Dani Rylan, commissioner of National Women’s Hockey League, will take place at 8:45 a.m. Saturday.

“At the end of the day, it’s about the kids,” said Kerry Shea, who’s helped organize the event throughout its existence. “We are excited for these guys, who played in the top ranks, to be able to showcase and share moments with the kids in Steamboat.”

The weekend will include a charity auction at Olympian Hall at Howelsen Hill on Friday evening — tickets were nearly sold out as of Thursday afternoon — and, as a finale, a game between the visiting skaters Saturday.

The game will be preceded by a player meet-and-greet starting at 6 p.m. Saturday at Howelsen Ice Arena. The players will take the ice at 7 p.m.

Tickets will be $15 for adults and $10 for children younger than 12 for Saturday’s game and are available online at SteamboatHockeyClassic.org, or at the door.

To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9

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