St. Paul police, Gopher players help kids embrace hockey

For years, there wasn't any ice to play on outside the Battle Creek Recreation Center. That is, until now.

A group of St. Paul officers, the Police Activity League, along with the members of the Sanneh Foundation are all working help more kids get into the sport for free.

"We've had a huge hockey tradition in this part of town, now we have a warming room, we have volunteers willing to do rink maintenance, and we said, ‘Well, let's do what we can to reinvigorate hockey in this part of St. Paul,'" Sgt. Mike McGinn said.

He added his goals go far beyond dropping a puck. Sgt. McGinn wants this program to help kids on city's culturally diverse east side embrace all sorts Minnesota winter fun. Ice fishing is another recent example.

"It was the first time they ever walked on frozen ice. It was a fairly warm day and the ice shifted and made a loud sound -- they were great," he said.

Back on the rink Wednesday night, Gopher hockey forwards Seth Ambroz and Christian Isackson lead the first of four free hockey skills clinics.

"It's fun to just give back and help some little players do some big things," Ambroz said.

Free hockey clinics

Free hockey clinics with Gopher Hockey players Christian Isackson and Seth Ambroz run every Wednesday through the end of the month.

Registration is available online by visiting 

You may also register over the phone at 651-266-6400, or in person at the Battle Creek Recreation Center.

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