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Inside Edge

Message from the Executive Director

Welcome back to the Inside Edge, Sno-King's newsletter with information and news about our youth hockey association and our community.  We took a pause from this newsletter over the past few months to focus on COVID-19 related operations and priorities. With the fresh new year upon us and re-opening now complete, we thought this update would be valuable as we celebrate important milestones, people and programs as well as gather feedback along the way.  Thanks for reading.

Clayton Rodgers, Executive Director


Feb 6 & 7: Learn to Play Hockey 1& 2 re-start (9 week pause)

Feb 6 & 7: Youth hockey league games restart (MHL & PNAHA)

Feb 8: Revised youth hockey practice schedule begins 

Feb 14: Last day for Cookie Dough Orders!

Feb 15: President’s Day

Feb 15: Adult Hockey League re-start (11 month pause)

Feb 15: Hockey week across America – Salute to Players

Feb 16: Hockey week across America – Salute to Coaches

Feb 17: Hockey week across America – Salute to Officials

Feb 18: Hockey week across America – Salute to local rinks

Feb 19: Hockey week across America – Wear your favorite Jersey Day

Feb 19 & Feb 26: USA Hockey presents GAME ON Empowering Women in Hockey Together Conference

Feb 20: Hockey week across America – Try Hockey for Free

Feb 21: Hockey week across America - Celebrate local hockey heroes

Feb 22: SKAHA Board of Directors February Meeting

Feb 26-28: PNAHA Girls Camp @ Snoqualmie rink (tentative)

March: New Adult LTP sessions begin. Register EARLY!

COVID and Safety Protocol

Phase 2 update: Masks still required on the ice

The safety of our players and families remains our top priority. Staff and coaches are working diligently to set positive examples for our players and teams. We recognize wearing masks on the ice is a new adjustment and difficult at times and we appreciate your cooperation as we all do our best in meeting these state driven Phase 2 requirements for operation. Thank you. 

For more info on our safety and cleaning protocol, please visit Safety and Cleaning (


For more information about State Restrictions and protocol our facilities and operations must adhere to (including masks for all indoor recreation), please visit the links below. 


Even with re-opening our rinks and restarting our Adult hockey league soon, Sno-King remains to be in a difficult financial situation operating under 25% capacity. In addition, trying to recover from 11 months of lost revenue from programs such as our Adult hockey league, public skating and group parties/events is challenging. Other factors such as the uncertainty of how much longer we'll have to continue to operate in these conditions combined with a building gap in lost income continues to be a concern. Our Staff and Board of Directors continue to explore multiple areas and options for funding and support both inside and outside of our Sno-King community to secure our future and continue to be able to delivery on our mission. 

THANK YOU for all your support these past few months! Your generous donations of volunteer time and financial contributions is truly appreciated.  Thank you for believing in us! 

Cookie Dough Fundraiser started Jan 29

As so many of us are happy for hockey re-starting, this new fundraiser is a great way to continue to find ways to support Sno-King during these challenging times as well as offers our players a chance to help. Whether it’s calling or emailing neighbors or perhaps face-timing friends and family, sharing why Sno-King is important to them and asking for help to support something meaningful can be a valuable life lesson and learning opportunity. 

The cookie dough fundraising goal is $20,000 (SnoKing receives 50% of all cookie sales). Our goal is for each team to sell 50 tubs, which equates to approximately 4 tubs per player. All 3 lb. tubs of Cougar Mountain Premium Cookie Dough sell for just $17 each and make ~4 dozen cookies.

Team Managers will be collecting all orders between Jan 29-Feb 14.  Last day for orders will be Feb 14. Delivery is expected early March.  

SAVE the DATE! April 26-30

Sno-King held it's very first auction in 1995! This fundraising tradition continued for 21 years until 2016. Over those 21 years, generous bidding has exceeded $1M in revenue for Sno-King! These annual auctions were the heart of our organization. With donations and procurements secured by members and volunteers of the Sno-King family and community having one key goal in mind: Building Players for Life!   

After a 5-year break, it's time to move forward!  This year's Sno-King Auction will look different than year's past. It will be an ONLINE event spanning across 5 days starting on April 26th.  You will be able to bid on all the fabulous auction items from the comfort of your own home via a mobile device or PC.  We'll have some fun along the way as well, with daily HOT auction items and stories of the past, present and future!  You won't want to miss out on this new event.   

Call for volunteers!  There are many ways to help.

  • Procurement of items
  • Auction website experience
  • Photo & Video capture & storytelling
  • Sponsorships, Communications & Marketing
  • Live virtual event 

Please email our Auction Lead Rebecca Ort at if interested in volunteering.  


Join us Saturday February 20th for Try Hockey Free at all 3 locations!

This event is designed to provide girls and boys ages 4-10 a FREE opportunity to have an on-ice hockey experience. Coaches will be on the ice to assist your child in learning the basics. No previous skating or hockey experience is needed. To participate you need to register and bring your own bike helmet and gloves/mittens. Skates and sticks will be provided. Please note that due to state restrictions masks are mandatory on and off the ice.

Please help us spread the word and share with anyone you think might be interested!

This is also a great opportunity for existing coaches and players to help volunteer their time to help provide a positive first impression for our new players.  Please reach out to if you are able to help. 


Check out the video of our new Sno-King Giving Wall that was recently installed in the lobby of our new Snoqualmie facility. This permanent new showcase includes our 55 year history of Building Players for Life as well as recognizing the families, partners and businesses that were instrumental in the Capital Campaign. We are so thankful for all the generous contributions to help us expand and offer this amazing new facility for generations to come!

A very special thank you to the Shiu family for their sponsorship of the Giving wall.

Hockey Director, Doug Kirton

Kaizen is a Japanese word which translates to mean “continuous improvement.” It's a “do better every day, with everyone, and everywhere” philosophy. The focus is on small, frequent improvements to existing work processes, generated by all.

This philosophy could best describe USA hockey and its commitment to becoming a better organization. Over ten years ago today, the USA Hockey board of directors unanimously approved the launch of a new paradigm in youth athlete development: the American Development Model.”

“The decision created a better way to play for American youth, dramatically improving the hockey development environment in the United States. The NHL became an early champion of the ADM, throwing its support behind the initiative. The ADM has since spread across the nation’s entire sporting landscape, as it was subsequently adopted by numerous national governing bodies, local youth sport clubs and the U.S Olympic Committee. Blending the latest sport science with proven childhood development techniques and decades of high-performance hockey wisdom, USA Hockey’s ADM debuted in the 2009-10 season. Its age-appropriate, age-specific competition and training structure provided a nationwide blueprint for volunteer-led associations, coaches and hockey directors to create the best possible youth hockey experience, placing a heightened emphasis on skill, fun and long-term athlete development principles.”

On August 23rd 2013 Sno-King Amateur Hockey, looking for a better way to develop players, became a Model Club, with the designation, Sno-King committed to follow the American Development Model (ADM) in full at the 8 through the 18u divisions. The ADM is based on age-appropriate training to fully benefit players in their development, regardless of ability level.

Fast forward to 2021 and we find an organization that has continued to stay committed to its original ADM principles and philosophies. One could surmise that winning the recent 2021 World Junior Championships is proof that hockey development is reaping the rewards of well thought out plan and execution of that plan.

But wait, what about Kaizan! USA Hockey again has taken a look at the successful ADM initiative and made the decision that its coaching program needed an overhaul and has once again delivered, ask anyone who has been involved in the recent USA Hockey virtual coaching clinics! They are truly world leading.

Hats off to USA Hockey and all of the Sno-King players that have benefitted from such a forward thinking National Governing Body!

Go Sno-King & Stay Safe!


I frequently get the question of “Coach David, what’s the best drill for stick handling at home?”. Whether this question comes from a player, parent, or a coach I always warn them that my response to this seemingly simple question might be long so don’t fall asleep on me! When you look at the game of hockey or other invasive sports regarding the technical or tactical aspects of the game. I think its safe to say that it’s filled with an infinite amount of scenarios that the athlete or athletes can be placed in. This means, there is also an infinite amount of the ways a player can interact with a puck as well. If you are reading this, grab a piece of paper and write down as many ways you might engage or be forced to handle the puck in the middle of the game. Not only will you be spending all day writing different scenarios but you probably wrote down elements where you need to use your feet, bat the puck down mid-air, quickly catch the puck. On top of that, the massive range of pressure and angle awareness of the blade you will need to be ready for. Knowing all the possible problems that you will be faced and the infinite amount of solutions you will need in the game, your training environment should provide an appropriate amount of variability that’s transferable to best prepare yourself. When you are not alone and have a training buddy you can easily create many ways to practice transferable stick handling drills but when you are by yourself I think the most effective way to get better at handling the puck is combining unstructured play and incorporating the plus 1 rule. Its always tough to work by yourself (trust me I had to create my own stick handling game to change things up during quarantine) but its not impossible! Time flies when you have your headphones in and you just play.

Similar to how teachers and coaches have to plus 1 or minus 1 an activity or a drill when learners surpass a certain skill, you are now doing this on your own in the unstructured environment.

Example: Can you stick handle the golf ball around the garage for 30 seconds without making a mistake? Once the player successfully accomplishes this task he or she would plus 1 and create a new challenge. Now stick handle around garage with the top hand only but on the other hand you’re bouncing a basketball. If that is outside your ability you would minus 1 the challenge and think of another.

Without needing to buy expensive “hockey training aids”, simply having different sporting equipment and using your creativity can provide a tremendous amount of challenge and variability when you’re by yourself. Stick handling a golf ball is quite low in difficulty because the golf ball provides strong feedback to the blade of the stick which then the vibrations travel up the stick shaft and gives the players hands a strong response. However, think of now stick handling a ping pong ball or soft ball. Completely different responses compared to the golf ball but also different wrist movements required depending on the size as well.

Now imagine having a golf ball, green biscuit, soccer ball, and a street hockey ball and continuously interchanging those different tools in a 30minute session and think of all the challenges your body was presented via using your stick and fundamental movement skills. There’s lots of things on social media that promotes stick handling, but I think there’s too much emphasis on following or memorizing a specific sequence of movement of the puck. Example, toe drag around this cone then go around the next. This can definitely be mixed into your training but I don’t think it’s the only way to approach stick handling.

David Min, Sno-King Skills Coach

Get your Goalie Groove on with DARIN CAMPBELL

It's been great to see everyone back at the rink over the last couple of weeks. With the long lay off I’m sure a lot of you are feeling a little rusty. Don’t worry your skills didn’t go anywhere. Granted it may take some time to get back to where you were. Just be patient. With that, I’d like to challenge all of you to come up with three things that you want to improve on before the end of the season. Be ready, myself and the other goalie coaches are going to ask  you about them. To help you remember, you can write them on a piece of tape and stick it on the inside of your blocker. 

Goalie Skills Clinic restarted Sunday, Jan 31 at 5:30pm in Snoqualmie. There will be no clinic Sunday Feb 7 but will be back Feb 14. Check out this video for some drills that you can try independently. 

2nd Annual Empowering Girls & Women in Hockey Summit

USA Hockey has nurtured the growth of female hockey since the 1970s, and today, girls hockey is among the fastest-growing youth sports in the United States. In the 2018-19 season, more girls and women participated in ice hockey than ever before with nearly 83,000 lacing up the skates. Over the past 10 years, girls and women's hockey participation has grown by 34%.

USA Hockey will host a virtual leadership conference entitled Game On: Empowering Women in Hockey Together on Friday, Feb. 19 and Friday, Feb. 26. The conference is building off the successful inaugural event that took place in Anaheim, Calif., in February 2020.

The goal of the conference is to give current and future leaders in girls/women’s hockey tools to enhance their leadership skills and impact at grassroots levels. Key benefits will be leadership development, sharing of best practices, networking, building allies, and exposure.

It’s an exciting time to be a part of girls hockey and Sno-King has been expanding the SKAHA girls program to meet the demands!


Meet 14U B Coach Bill Stillwell 

Even during the 9 week closure, Bill continued to have a positive impact on our 14U B players. Whether coordinating weekly zoom calls to focus on off-ice skills or planning team building activities such as hikes, heading to the driving range or setting up a team NHL Fantasy league, his leadership and mentorship have been a huge asset to our association. Bill quotes, "Even if we aren’t able to build skills on the ice the way we normally would, it is still just as important to recognize that team sports build real life skills too, and not lose that part of coaching. Teaching the kids how to deal with adversity by relying on their teammates is a skill that matters everywhere, not just on the ice." Bill also gives back to Sno-King in many other ways. Bill and his son Will recently volunteered with re-building the ice during the closure as well as assisted with Try Hockey for Free Day back in November. 

Please join us in thanking Bill and family for all they do to support Sno-King. 

Volunteer Spotlight - Anny Patrick

When Anny heard about our new Snoqualmie facility being built she was excited.  So excited that she contacted us offering her media services pro bono to assist with our social media sites in anticipation of the Grand opening and community buzz.  

Anny was born and raised in Montreal, Canada. Hockey was embedded in her childhood. It is the sport and event that brings communities together from all walks of life. She currently lives in Snoqualmie Ridge and has two fearless girls enrolled in our Learn to Skate program. 

Anny helps to manage our Sno-King Ice Arenas Facebook and Instagram accounts which have grown by over 300% since she joined us last June. Her creative eye and media skills are invaluable assets as we work to grow our reach and fill our programs. Anny also joined many other women and men in our first Snoqualmie Adult Learn to Play program.  

If you don't follow Sno-King Ice Arenas on social sites, feel free to check it out to receive new facility and programs updates. Now more than ever these tools are an important way to keep our community informed.  Thank you for all you do Anny!  


ADULT LEARN TO PLAY - New series starts in March

Are you an adult that has always wanted to try playing hockey but never given the chance? Now is your chance!

Sno-King's Adult Learn to Play Hockey program is for those who have never played hockey before or for those who have very little experience. This program is the first step to entering our SKAHL or our PHL. At least 30 minutes of each hour will focus on the most important part of hockey, skating. Each week participants will progress on the basics of the forward and backward skating stride, stopping, puck control, passing and shooting. Each practice is designed for players to practice their skills at their own pace. Team play will also be introduced through small area games in a fun and encouraging environment. 

Due to the high interest we will be offering classes at all three locations for our new March session. Register early!

ALUMNI - A Trip down Memory Lane

From 3 hockey brothers to a dedicated hockey mother, former player turned restaurant owner and one man wearing many hats-Father/Coach/Sno-King President/Retiree, the Sno-King Hockey Alumni Group has it all. 

This year, we celebrate 57 years of Sno-King history in Building Players for Life. All stories and paths are different and we hope that no matter when or how long a player joined us on their journey, we all have this common bond with Sno-King roots and a passion for the greatest sport and game on earth. 

Our Alumni Facebook group is one way we've been connecting with this history. We've learned more about Alumni achievements and stories from the past and present. We've also seen some incredible pictures of hockey from 50+ years ago, the teams, the gear, the rinks and the memorabilia collection. 

Join the Sno-King Alumni Facebook Group

This is a private page so please request to join. We encourage you to invite other Sno-King Alumni to this group. Click here to join now

Pro Shop News: Elevate Sporting

With rinks re-opened last week, so did our new Pro Shop partner Elevate Sporting.  Be sure to stop by for skate sharpening or any equipment you might need.  New operating hours for Renton and Snoqualmie include: 

  • Weekdays (EXCEPT Tuesdays) from 3-8pm
  • Saturday 10-6pm and Sunday 10-4pm 
  • Bellevue and Tacoma locations are open 7 days a week - Weekdays M-F from 10-7pm and Weekends Sat & Sun 11-5

Check out their website for more info