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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    Auston Matthews’ 33rd goal includes a dash of comedy (Video)

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    This wouldn’t have been worth a chuckle if not for the correction. (Well, maybe a chuckle at Auston Matthews‘ expense.)

    On the 33rd goal of his brilliant rookie season, Auston Matthews made it 2-0 for Toronto on the power play. Crusty “act like you’ve been there” types might grumble that he actually celebrated before a goal really happened, only to tap it in for real the second time around. The rest of us, again, get a mild chuckle.

    William Nylander‘s pass was nothing to laugh at, however. That one just gets a big thumbs up.

    Hnnngmgghh indeed.

    That goal could end up being key as the Blue Jackets quickly scored to start the second period, shrinking Toronto’s lead to 2-1 on Wednesday.

    Video: Leafs’ Carrick delivers thunderous hit on Blue Jackets’ Anderson

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    Both the Columbus Blue Jackets and Toronto Maple Leafs have motivation to win their Wednesday game, but the Maple Leafs need it more.

    So far, it shows, too.

    The Maple Leafs have raced off to a 2-0 lead, with Auston Matthews scoring his 33rd goal of the season. If generating such offense didn’t highlight the urgency, Connor Carrick‘s huge hit on Josh Anderson makes a compelling argument. Witness that big impact in the video above.

    There was also another high-impact moment when Nick Foligno went crashing into the boards:

    Ouch, Blues consider Paul Stastny out week-to-week

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    The St. Louis Blues announced that Paul Stastny is out week-to-week with a lower-body injury.

    Stastny was limited to less than four minutes of ice time during last night’s 4-2 win against the Colorado Avalanche. Initially, head coach Mike Yeo indicated that the issue wasn’t serious.

    There are only about three weeks left in the regular season, so it’s tough to tell if “week-to-week” would mean that the Blues will be without Stastny for any playoff time.

    With Stastny out for an expended period of time and other injuries affecting Blues forwards, it sounds like Nail Yakupov gets another chance to prove himself:

    Stastny generated 18 goals and 40 points in 66 games so far this season. He has played more of a defensive role this season (46.2 offensive zone start percentage after being closer to 50 earlier in his Blues days) and has been impressive in the dot, winning 53.8 of his faceoffs.

    WATCH LIVE: Islanders at Rangers – Wednesday Night Rivalry

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    A night after a feisty matcuhup with the Devils, the Rangers host an even bigger rival in the Islanders at Madison Square Garden for Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN.

    As nasty as Tuesday’s contest got at times, this one means more.

    While the Rangers seem pretty safely seated as the East’s first wild card, the Islanders stand three points behind the Maple Leafs for the final spot in the conference. They’ve seen other bubble teams stumble, so this is their chance to close in on Toronto in what might be a shrinking field of contenders.

    Spiting the Islanders might just give the Rangers a little extra life on back-to-back nights … especially since their fans would probably let them have it if they sleepwalk through this one.

    It should be a fun, physical and dramatic one on NBCSN. You can also watch online and via the NBC Sports App.

    Click here for the livestream.