NWHL stars Rebecca Russo, Brittany Ott, Taylor Marchin, Jillian Dempsey and Madison Packer led a clinic of more than 40 girls at Detroit's historic Clark Park.
Michigan natives Madison Packer, Brittany Ott and Taylor Marchin, as well as NWHL leaders Jillian Dempsey and Rebecca Russo spent Sunday with youth hockey players in Detroit to kick off Hockey Week Across America.
The day began with the NWHL players leading a clinic at Detroit’s historic Clark Park, home of the Clark Park Sharks. More than 40 girls’ hockey players attended, participating in skating, passing, shooting and puck protection drills before closing the day with a scrimmage. Clark Park, an outdoor rink that’s part of a Detroit rec center, provided a hometown, pure-hockey feel as players donned ski masks and took a break for hot chocolate to brave the cold.
“It’s special,” said Packer. “I love coming back to Detroit. I don’t get to do it often. And just to be out here, I didn’t get to skate at Clark Park much growing up, but it’s a great setup right in the heart of Detroit. To give back and get on the ice with some of the little kids is fun.”
From there, the group of NWHL players and youth players traveled across town to Little Caesars Arena to watch the finale of the Rivalry Series between the U.S. National Team and Canada, a game that featured 15 NWHL players. Team Canada took a 2-0 win, with Buffalo Beauts goaltender Shannon Szabados earning the shutout. The Clark Park Sharks took the ice for the second intermission, skating on the same ice as their idols. After both the clinic and the game, the NWHL players took time to take photos, chat with and sign autographs for the youth players.
“We love to be here for these girls,” said Russo. “We want to show them that there is a future and they can be like us. That’s what we do every day – we try to pave the way for future generations. With a turnout like today, it was a huge success, and I know there’s a bright future.”