POTSDAM Little skates, helmets, gloves and hockey sticks whizzed around the Pine Street Arena Monday afternoon during the third annual Kids Hockey Shoot.
The day, which was sponsored by the Potsdam Elks Lodge, was for children 13 years old and younger who came from all over St. Lawrence County.
Mary M. Charleston, chairwoman of youth activities for the Potsdam Elks Lodge, said every year the lodge holds soccer and hoops shooting events for children to win prizes. Holding a hockey shoot as well was a natural fit, Ms. Charleston said.
She said the other shoots the lodge holds throughout the year are on a state and national level, and children compete to move onto the next level.
With hockey shoots, she said there are no state or national competitions.
I said, Well, we can do a local one and see what happens, she said. So we kind of took a mixture and made up score sheets and said this is our hockey shoot. This is our third year, and actually, its been pretty successful.
The competition was split into four age groups and by gender. Each child stood behind a certain line and shot at the goal. A wooden board in front of the net had holes in it to determine scoring.
Each child got a free T-shirt, and the top contestants won hockey sticks signed by Clarkson University hockey players, Clarkson hockey pucks and Clarkson hockey game tickets.
Ms. Charleston said organizers wanted to put on a fun event for children to participate in for free.
We do it this time of year when its hockey season and the kids are out of school, and it gives them something fun and healthy to do, she said.
Ms. Charleston said they also sponsored the entire weeks ice time so parents can bring their children to skate for free.
Kelly A. Cummings, Catskill, and her sister, Kate M. Cruikshank, Potsdam, brought their children to participate in the contest.
I think its great, Ms. Cummings said. Im just visiting my sister with my two kids to visit their cousin, and they were able to enter for this.
Ms. Cummingss children, William C., 6 and Caitie G., 5, along with their cousin, Lucas J. Cruikshank, 8, played.
Theyve never played hockey or really skated at all, Ms. Cruikshank said.
Robert S. Voss, 11, Zachary J. Kirka, 12, and Romano Sergi, 11, who all play on minor hockey teams, were looking forward to a day of more relaxed competition.
Its fun cause you dont have to worry about losing or getting nervous, Mr. Kirka said. You just shoot and have fun.