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Hockey Canada made cross ice hockey mandatory for Initiation age players (six and under) across the country for the 2015/2016 hockey season.

The Initiation Program serves as the gateway to all hockey skills for players starting in the sport.  This program is based on Hockey Canada's Long Term Player Development model which  teaches FUNdamental (LTPD) sport skills through fun and games and age appropriate skills programming.  

Hockey North has been working hard with HNWT and HNU to get this information out to  local minor hockey associations and communities so that the young players are on the right path for their development.  Smaller nets, lighter pucks (blue) and in some areas, ice dividers are in use to implement this program. Games are all cross ice only.  Skills are taught in stations when there are adequate coaches on the ice.  This is the best environment for fun, learning and more time on task for skill development.  

Here are some statistics from Hockey Canada that compares a cross ice game to a full ice game:

Below are resources and video links to give you a better understanding to the program and its implementation.

Hockey Canada Initiation Program


Cross Ice Hockey-Benefits.pdf

Small Ice Big Gains.pdf

The Grindstone Award Foundation

The Grindstone Award Foundation is an official Registered Canadian Charity that enables young female players the opportunity to participate and improve their skill development in the sport of hockey. We provide financial support to young female hockey players who have the desire to play but are unable to for financial reasons.


We are a grassroots movement with a vision of making impact across Canada by empowering women in life and sport to improve the current state of equality. We have ambitious goals, but need your help to reach the families in your area who are struggling to keep their daughter playing. If you are in need of assistance or know a family who might, please pass along our information or reach out. 

To learn more visit -

Charity Registration # 80180 6191RR0001

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