Friday, December 10, 2010

Women’s hockey Olympians coming to Ketchum

Public appearances next week

Olympians Jenny Potter and A.J. Mleczko, two stars in the rise of women's ice hockey in the U.S., are coming to Ketchum and Sun Valley Dec. 15-17 to increase awareness of women's hockey and encourage participation in the sport.

Four-time Olympian Potter, 31, from Edina, Minn. and two-time Olympian and Patty Kazmaier Award winner Mleczko, 35, will raise money for Sun Valley Youth Hockey and visit Blaine County schools during several public stops next week.

Their visit was announced in a Dec. 8 press release submitted by local hockey player and advocate Nicole Perkins and Sun Valley resident Jim Knight. He is the father of Olympic hockey player Hilary Knight, 21, a linemate of Potter in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Potter and Mleczko will appear as guest bartenders at Cornerstone Restaurant in Ketchum Wednesday, Dec. 15 from 5-7 p.m. They will be joined by Sun Valley Suns senior men's hockey players with proceeds earmarked for Sun Valley Youth Hockey.

On Dec. 15-16, Potter and Mleczko will host an "Olympian Workout" at Zenergy in Ketchum. Those attending will pay a fee, with proceeds to youth hockey. Space is limited, so sign up at Zenergy, 726-6052.

Both Potter and Mleczko will talk about their Olympic journeys during a reception at Elkhorn Restaurant (across from the post office) Thursday, Dec. 16 from 6-7:30 p.m. They will visit with youth hockey players at Sun Valley Skating Center Dec. 15-16, and also tour local schools to encourage youth athletics and ice hockey.

Joining them for the community events will be Dave Ogrean, executive director of USA Hockey.

Potter, the mother of two, was a U.S. Olympian each year from 1998 to 2010. She played three years at the University of Minnesota-Duluth where she graduated in 2004. Potter was a three-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award, which goes to the top women's college hockey player. She was a two-time Western Collegiate Hockey Association "Player of the Year."

Mleczko, a 5-11, 160-pounder from Nantucket, Mass., also won the hockey gold at the 1998 Olympics in Nagano, Japan. A graduate of Taft School in Watertown, Conn., Mleczko led Harvard University to the national championship in 1999—the same year she won Kazmaier.

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