On January 26 and 27 the Western Kansas Outlaws youth hockey kids traveled to Wichita to play a friendship game with kids from the Wichita Youth Hockey Association. The Outlaws took 21 western Kansas kids ages 8 to 10 along with a load of moms, dads, aunts, uncles, and grandparents to the Wichita Ice Center for 90 minutes of youth hockey followed by a pizza party. Members of the Wichita Junior Thunder players skated with the kids and, after the pizza was consumed, 75 kids and family members attended the Wichita Thunder vs Denver Cutthroats hockey game at the Intrust Bank Arena. After an overnight stay, everyone descended on the Wichita Ice Center again Sunday morning for more hockey games before returning to western Kansas. Outlaw players and families came from Scott City, Garden City, Montezuma, Kinsley and Dodge City for the games.
Plans are now in the works for more visits to Wichita by the Outlaw kids. The 4 through 8 year olds and 14 through 18 year olds are planning another overnight visit to play and view hockey in early March. Outlaws aged 10 to 12 are planning another away game at the end of February.
The High Plains Youth Hockey Association is currently developing plans for some inline hockey (roller blades) in several western Kansas communities. The plan is to allow kids to continue to enjoy skating even when ice is no longer available at the United Wireless Arena. The association currently boasts nearly 60 kids and 15 coaches and expects to continue rapid growth as long as ice is available. Information on youth hockey is available at www.highplainsyouthhockey.org or by calling (620) 408-6877.