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Mike McEwen’s Kids First program helps expose OKC youth to hockey

BY RYAN ABER Published: January 29, 2011
/articleid/3536506/1/pictures/1357834">Photo - Mike McEwen Former Blazers coach runs Kids First program
Mike McEwen Former Blazers coach runs Kids First program
It’s based on a program several NHL teams use in their areas, including the Dallas Stars.

Kids First is held at Arctic Edge and at the Blazers Ice Centre. In the last session, approximately 160 kids took part in the initial sessions. About 110 stayed for the 10 weeks of instruction.

Eight-year-old Gabe Kiener was also on the ice Saturday.

His 3-year-old brother, Cameron, already wants to play when he’s old enough to join the program.

“It’s a perfect program,” their dad, Randall, said. “The cost is such a hindrance so I doubt they’d have been able to do it without the program. I wish I would’ve had a program like this when I was their age.

“I’m really glad Mike does this for the kids.”

Friday was Kids First Night with the Barons. The team donated 10 percent of walk-up, merchandise and Chuck-A-Puck revenue to the program.

Players from the Oklahoma City Youth Hockey Association took the ice during the first intermission.

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