ANN ARBOR, Mich. - USA Hockey's National Team Development Program is set to host Star Wars Night on Saturday, Jan. 18, at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The U.S. National Under-18 Team will welcome characters from the beloved film franchise and extended universe of Star Wars and take to the ice wearing specially designed jerseys. Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.
"This is the third-straight season we've held this fantastic promotion," said Scott Monaghan, senior director of operations at USA Hockey's NTDP. "Each year this night has grown and it's now one of the most popular games on the schedule."
Highlighting the event will be a ceremonial puck-drop featuring characters from Star Wars and U.S. players will debut a game jersey featuring Darth Vader, one of the most iconic movie characters of all time. The jerseys, created by Darrin Brege in cooperation with Lucasfilm Limited, LLC, will be auctioned off online here. Bidding will commence on Monday, Jan. 28, and end on Thursday, Feb. 13, at 9 p.m. EST. Proceeds will benefit C.S. Mott Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Members of the 501st Legion - Great Lakes Garrison and Rebel Legion - Great Lakes Base costume groups will also be on hand for the United States Hockey League battle between Team USA and Waterloo. The Great Lakes Garrison operates in the state of Michigan and provides a network for Star Wars fans to create and build Star Wars props and costumes while serving the community through various charity organizations.
"We are honored to work with USA Hockey again on this great event," said Jon Leopold, event coordinator with the Great Lakes Garrison. "This year will prove even more special with the team wearing Darth Vader-themed jerseys. While we're featuring a member of the Dark Side of the Force this year, we are already looking forward to next year when we can focus on the Light Side."
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)