The Mandan Hockey Club is a non-profit youth hockey organization whose goal is to provide the youth of the community the opportunity to develop and learn the game of hockey in an environment that promotes growth, friendships, character building, teamwork, and responsibility.
The Mandan Hockey Club tries to provide an affordable option for learning the sport of hockey for those who may be unsure if hockey is the right passion for their child. The club offers free use of hockey equipment for young skaters allowing them options to come out to try hockey. They also offer intro to hockey programs to see if it is a fit for them. Current Mandan Hockey Club President Nathan Miller mentions, how the club has allowed local youth to experience new things without the initial financial investment and commitment that is sometimes required of hockey. “It is awesome to see these new faces come in the door and fall in love with a sport that they didn’t think they were going to get involved in.”
Made up of over 260 members, Miller says, “That is one thing we can contribute to the additional rink at the new complex. Years past, in the All Seasons Arena, we fluctuated between 180 and 200. It has been an awesome opportunity to have two sheets of ice instead of one.” Miller goes on to say that with one sheet of ice, skate times and room to skate were very limited especially when the club had 180 kids to accommodate. The extra sheet of ice has allowed more room for spectators and fans and gives the kids an opportunity to practice without being so crowded on top of one another as well as earlier skate times. “In the past we had young kids that were on the ice until 7:30-8:00. Now we are able to get them off the ice by 6:30 so they can still go home and have supper, unwind from the day, have family time, and get ready for school the next day.”
Along with the new sheet of ice, there have been other new additions to the rink including two state-of-the-art scoreboards, one for each sheet of ice, sponsored by Dakota Community Bank & Trust. As part of an agreement to use the new sports complex, the Mandan Hockey Club had to raise a significant amount of funding to put toward the construction of the facility. “Dakota Community Bank & Trust was very generous and offered a contribution to the club. They are a great supporter of the community and our community’s youth. Without them, we know it would have been much more difficult to have got to the level that the club was able to reach,” mentions Miller.
Cody Fleck previous Mandan Hockey Club board member goes on to say, “As far as the hockey rink, Dakota Community Bank & Trust gave us quite a bit. Through the scoreboard and Zamboni, you can see their support. People from all across the state come to that hockey rink almost every weekend for hockey tournaments. Plus now the University of Mary has a men’s hockey program where this is now their home rink. So college athletes and college parents also see Dakota Community Bank & Trust has their name out there.”
Growing up in the Mandan community as a hockey enthusiast himself, Miller recalls never dreaming of having such a nice indoor facility after learning the game of hockey on outdoor rinks. He is very proud to not only have moved Mandan hockey indoor into the All Seasons Arena but into a facility that now hosts a men’s university hockey team. Not only is he proud that such a high level of hockey is in a community the size of Mandan, but is proud that it gives his kids that are in the Mandan Hockey Club a look at what could be their future – to play hockey in college or even professionally.
With a mission to provide youth with the opportunity to develop character, responsibility, and teamwork through life-long learning of the sport of hockey, the future for the Mandan Hockey Club is bright. The numbers are healthy, the teams are strong, and the level of play continues to grow every year. Just as DCB&T wants to see a health positive community with thriving youth, so does the Mandan Hockey Club. “We want to see these kids have an opportunity to enjoy their childhood, grow and learn, build character, and make new friends,” ends Miller.
Written by Lindsey Hefta, Marketing Director