In a historic semester for the Alaska Grizzlies Academy (AGA), a record 22 Learn to Hockey skaters graduate up to the Ice Puppies after completing their 8 week class that started in the fall. Skaters graduate by mastering basic skating techniques administered via USA Hockey’s American Development Model (ADM) and trained by a handful of coaching volunteers that allow mostly new to the sport athletes to grow in a near 1:1 coaching ratio on the ice.


We have a great groups of coach volunteers! They’ve done a wonderful job this session and [were] very encouraging to the kids. – Kimberly B.


The Learn to Hockey program (part of the brand new Academy designed curriculum of the Alaska Grizzlies), is designed for the newest skater who is looking to learn to skate and hold a stick. Patient, skilled coaches help the new skaters learn how to “fall like a hockey player” and give them the tools and confidence to keep getting back up to try again. By using fun, engaging, teamwork based drills in small numbers, skaters get the hands on training to develop their skating style in a reduced time window. As they continue through the semester, they build up endurance to skate for 45 minutes to 1 hour – which will be required of them at the Ice Puppies level.

For now, these newly christened hockey players get to rest, but there is still work to be done this season. The next semester of Grizzlies Academy featuring both Ice Puppies and Jr Grizzlies skill groups starts after Christmas Break. All Academy athletes get a well deserved break before starting up again right after the New Year in the first part of January. Registration for the Winter semester opens December 5th via the Alaska Grizzlies website.

New registrants to the winter session of Ice Puppies – including the 22 advancing skaters – can expect a focus on learning the basics of stopping, edge work, passing, and shooting. This group will start to work on the basics of youth hockey overall and continue to work on mastering skating. Skaters will join coaches and their teammates for two ice practices a week on Saturday and Sunday and costs $209/$219 for the entire semester that runs January to March.



AGA is a specialized curriculum designed to advance youth athletes by leveraging modern training techniques – USA Hockey American Development Model (ADM) – with the acquisition of sport specific skills in the game of hockey. Development for our youngest athletes within or program is achieved by focusing on reduced player to coach ratios (sometimes down to a 1:1 ratio) and grouped skill sets … [More]

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