Jun 7, 2018

Iowa Wild announced today the organization will hold its Junior Crash Course learn-to-play program for a second consecutive season, giving children across central Iowa an introduction to the sport of hockey at no cost.

“We are thrilled to bring Junior Crash Course back for a second year,” said Iowa Wild President Todd Frederickson. “This program provides kids with a great opportunity to learn the game of hockey at no cost. Last year we saw 50 kids participate in the program and we want to continue to grow hockey here in central Iowa.”

Junior Crash Course, presented by West Bend and sponsored by AVS Concepts, JT’s Slapshot, Home Solutions of Iowa and Raising Cane’s, will randomly select 50 children to participate in the program. Consisting of six sessions in September and October, kids between the ages of four and 12 will have a chance to learn how to skate and play hockey through beginner level drills.

Each participant will receive free equipment from CCM, which includes a helmet, stick, skates, hockey bag and protective pad.

In its inaugural program, Junior Crash Course had more than 130 applications for the 50 spots. Of the 50 graduates from the program, 48 have continued to play hockey through the Des Moines Youth Hockey Association.

“We here at AVS Concepts are extremely proud to be involved with Iowa Wild,” said Nate McCombs, Business Development. “We couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to sponsor the Junior Crash Course for the second year. To see the look on the kids’ and parents’ faces getting them ready and seeing how much fun they were having on the ice was amazing. We have a passion for the sport of hockey, so to be a part of growing the sport at a critical age here in Des Moines is a great feeling. We can’t wait to see the new group of kids enjoying the sport we love.”

“The Junior Crash Course program is the best thing that has ever happened for the growth of youth hockey in Des Moines as well as central Iowa, and is proof that Iowa Wild is committed to hockey in this city and its continued growth at the grass-root levels,” said Ryan Ehrhardt, Chief Operating Officer of JT’s Slapshot. “This program is a great opportunity to get introduced to the game of hockey, and will be the stepping stone for a lifetime of wonderful memories.”

“To me, hockey is a way of life. Starting as a youth player and playing through adulthood, I have formed lifelong friendships and gained leadership skills that I use in my everyday life,” said Joseph Smith, President of Home Solutions of Iowa. “I have a passion for giving back to the community and want to grow the sport of hockey in Central Iowa. Last year Home Solutions of Iowa had the opportunity to sponsor the Junior Crash Course and we couldn’t have been more thrilled with the outcome. To see 50 kids try on their first set of hockey gear and head out on the Iowa Wild’s home ice was very rewarding. We are looking forward to another special year with Iowa Wild’s Junior Crash Course.”

“We feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to partner with Iowa Wild on the Junior Crash Course program,” said Jennifer Jones, co-owner of West Des Moines’ Raising Canes. “Giving kids the opportunity to learn the game of hockey is something that fits into our core values of active lifestyles and we are very excited to help bring this to the children in the Des Moines community.”

Those interested in the Junior Crash Course program should sign up before Aug. 1, 2018. For more information, including applications and qualifications, visit

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