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Our sons all began playing hockey in the same year.  The youngest was four and the oldest was ten.  Once we caught the competitive travel bug, we knew we were in it for the long haul. Neither my wife nor I had any experience with the game when our sons first put on skates. We never played hockey ourselves, and were never fans of the game. We didn't even understand the rules. But our sons progressed from playing roller hockey in Colorado to learn-to-skate ice hockey classes, and on to the House League and competitive teams.

It was a real whirlwind for us.   The more we learned about the game, and the more fun our children had, the more involved we became.  I started keeping a blog to share pictures and stories with friends and family. All of the things we were experiencing and learning were going into the blog, and the more complicated it became, the more I wished someone would put it all in a single place - a handbook to simplify it all.

Our sons are now grown. Two of them still enjoy the game recreationally and one continues to play professionally. I have gone back to the blog and culled the posts and conversations which contained the most important observations and decisions we faced, and I have consolidated them into this book for parents who, like we once did, are facing one or more of these choices for the first time. I hope hockey is or becomes as rewarding for you as it has for our family.  I hope you make lifelong friends along the way, and I hope some of my words and our experiences are helpful in your journey.

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