Kraft Hockeyville is back for 2017

On the heels of last year’s incredibly successful campaign, Kraft Hockeyville is back.

Last year, the Lakeview Arena in Marquette, MI emerged the winner, capturing $150,000 in arena upgrades and the opportunity to host a preseason broadcast on NBCSN between the Buffalo Sabres and Carolina Hurricanes.

More on this year’s competition:

Like a hockey game, Kraft Hockeyville USA 2017 has three periods. In the first period, communities across the country are encouraged to enter by sharing unique stories about their local rink, teams, hockey spirit and passion and submitting their nominations now through March 10, 2017, at http://www.KraftHockeyville.com, where complete contest rules and nomination applications are available.

The competition heats up in the second period when 10 community finalists will be chosen, which includes three rounds of public voting:

· Round 1 (April 11-13, 2017) – Top four communities chosen to move on to the next round; remaining six each receive $10,000 toward arena upgrades.
· Round 2 (April 18-19, 2017) – Top two finalists selected; remaining two each receive $25,000 toward arena upgrades.
· Round 3 (April 24-25, 2017) – One community will emerge as Kraft Hockeyville USA 2017; runner-up will receive $75,000 toward arena upgrades.

In the final period, the winning community will be announced April 29, 2017 and receive the grand prize of the chance to host a preseason game televised on NBCSN, as well as $150,000 in arena upgrades from Kraft Heinz.

Like last year, U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer and NHL on NBC analyst Jeremy Roenick will serve as program ambassador.

“I’m thrilled to be back as part of Kraft Hockeyville USA 2017 to help inspire community rinks and youth hockey players across the U.S.,” Roenick said. “This great program helps share the hockey spirit and allows me to work with the next generation of players to bring communities together.”

Here at PHT, we’ll be profiling some of the communities chosen to participate. Be sure to check back frequently throughout the year to see if your local rink will take home the title.

For more details, please visit krafthockeyville.com.

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    Ducks’ Perry being evaluated at hospital for lower body injury

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    The injury woes for the Anaheim Ducks continued on Monday night.

    On the same night they got Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg back in the lineup, they lost forward Corey Perry to some sort of a lower body injury.

    Perry exited the game after playing just 3:49 in the first period.

    After the game Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said that Perry is being evaluated at a local hospital for the injury and that there was no other update at this time.

    According to Ducks beat writer Eric Stephens of the OC Register Perry did not suffer a skate cut.

    In 31 games this season Perry has scored six goals to go with 16 assists for the Ducks. The Ducks have been absolutely crushed by injuries this season, a development that has no doubt played a major role in their slow start.

    The Ducks were 3-2 winners on Monday against the Carolina Hurricanes.

    The Buzzer: Bernier shines for Avs, Rangers waste Pavelec’s great night

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    Player Of The Night: Jonathan Bernier, Colorado Avalanche

    After losing six out of their past seven games the Colorado Avalanche finally got back into the win column on Saturday night by crushing the Florida Panthers. They followed up that performance by marching into Pittsburgh and stealing two points from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a 2-1 win that was highlighted by a stellar showing from starting goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

    Bernier was the Avalanche’s best player on Monday night, turning aside 39 of the 40 shots he faced.

    It was not until the final 11 seconds, when the Avalanche were already holding a two-goal lead, that he finally surrendered a goal.

    It was probably Bernier’s best performance of the season and just the fifth time in 12 starts that he managed a save percentage higher than .900 in a game.

    Wasted Effort Of The Night: The New York Rangers

    Maybe “wasted” is too strong of a word considering the Rangers did get a point out of the night in a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars, but let’s be honest be here. They did not even deserve that.

    The Rangers were thoroughly dominated by the Stars and only managed to get the game to overtime thanks to a stellar performance from goaltender Ondrej Pavelec.

    Pavelec stopped 44 of the 45 shots he faced and almost single handedly got the Rangers to overtime.

    After the game Rangers coach Alain Vigneault had this to say about the game: “There are two positives, Pavs played unreal and because of his performance we were able to get a point. Other than that….we weren’t good.”

    That was it.

    Ducks Get Some Help Back In The Lineup

    The Anaheim Ducks got some much needed help back in their lineup on Monday night when Ryan Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg both returned to the lineup.

    Silfverberg made an immediate impact after missing the past five games. He scored his sixth goal of the season in the Ducks’ 3-2 win.

    Getzlaf did not factor into the scoring, but having him back in the lineup was still a huge lift for the Ducks. He played 20 minutes in the win.

    Highlight Of The Night

    The Winnipeg Jets have an outstanding offense. It was on display here with some nifty tic-tac-toe passing to take the lead against the Vancouver Canucks.

    Factoid Of The Night

    Brock Boeser scored another goal for the Canucks in their loss to the Winnipeg Jets. He is having a tremendous rookie season.

    Scores

    New York Islanders 3, Washington Capitals 1

    Dallas Stars 2, New York Rangers 1

    Colorado Avalanche 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1

    Florida Panthers 2, Detroit Red Wings 1

    Winnipeg Jets 5, Vancouver Canucks 1

    Anaheim Ducks 3, Carolina Hurricanes 2

    Adam Gretz is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @AGretz.

    The Panthers and Red Wings had a fight night (Videos)

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    The Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings seemed to be in a fighting mood on Monday night, dropping the gloves three times in the first two periods of their game in the Motor City.

    Things started early in the first period when Red Wings tough-guy Luke Witkowski, playing in his first game back since serving a 10-game suspension, dropped the gloves with Michael Haley of the Panthers.

    Have a look…

    The two would square off once again in the second period.

    Not long after the Witkowski-Haley rematch, Panthers defenseman Aaron Ekblad and Red Wings forward Luke Glendenning took part in a rather vicious fight that left Glendenning bloodied on his way to the penalty box.

    Given Ekblad’s history of concussions the Panthers can’t exactly be thrilled to see him taking part in a fight like that.

    Ekblad is not much of a fighter, with Monday’s fight being just the third of his NHL career. It is, oddly enough, his second fight of the season with the first one also coming against the Red Wings.

    Back in October he fought Justin Abdelkader.

    Big centers back: Getzlaf in for Ducks, Panthers regain Barkov

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    The Anaheim Ducks would probably qualify as unlucky so far in 2017-18 even beyond an extremely unfortunate bounce of a puck fracturing Ryan Getzlaf‘s cheekbone.

    That loss was especially severe with Ryan Kesler already recovering, as Getzlaf missed 19 games, last appearing in a contest on that painful night of Oct. 29. The Ducks get quite the treat, then, as both Getzlaf and Jakob Silfverberg are slated to return as they host the Carolina Hurricanes.

    Check out how much better everything fits together with the returns of Getzlaf and Silfverberg, not to mention the recent addition of Adam Henrique (line combos via the Ducks website):

    Rakell-Getzlaf-Perry
    Cogliano-Henrique-Silfverberg
    Blandisi-Vermette-Kase
    Wagner-Grant-Shaw

    The Ducks are still without Kesler, and Patrick Eaves is fighting a serious physical battle that puts hockey on the backburner, so there’s still some mystery to how the Ducks might look if they can get anywhere near full-strength this season.

    As is, they look a whole lot better going into Monday’s game, something the Florida Panthers could relate to.

    While Anaheim’s dealt with bad luck, you could chalk up Florida’s troubles to a mix of unforced errors (jettisoning depth, particularly to Vegas) and tough breaks of their own (Roberto Luongo‘s injury issues). Either way, management will look infinitely smarter when Aleksander Barkov is in the lineup than when he’s not, so the Panthers must be happy to welcome him back tonight.

    Interestingly, Left Wing Lock lists Barkov along with Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad, rather than Denis Malgin taking Bjugstad’s spot (Malgin received looks, at least, once Evgenii Dadonov suffered an injury).

    That would be quite the top-heavy approach for Florida, even if Malgin can mesh well with Vincent Trocheck.

    While the Panthers have floundered at times, the Ducks seemed like they were finally starting to crater under the pressure of all those injury losses, as Anaheim only boasts two wins (2-4-4) in its last 10 games.

    It’s true that the return of Barkov and Getzlaf would be important in just about any context for their teams, but each team likely feels especially relieved on Monday, as they can use all the help they can get.

    James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.