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Safety in youth hockey is priority No. 1 at all levels, even for beginners just learning to skate. That's part of the message that Rochester Century girls hockey players Tori Gosse-Gram and Leah Batterson recently delivered to preschoolers at Kingdom Kids Preschool in Rochester.
Gosse-Gram and Batterson, a co-captain for the Panthers, are both seniors. The players showed their equipment to some possible future high school players and pointed out the safety value of each piece in their hockey bags.
"This is the most important piece of equipment you can have," Batterson said while pointing to the scratches on her helmet. "Every time we're on the ice, we're required to wear our helmets. It's very important to wear them."
The players answered questions from the students — the most common being "what number do you wear?" — and pointed out that every day, whether in practice or a game, is a good chance to practice on-ice safety.
"Practicing the right way is another way to stay safe," Gosse-Gram told the preschoolers. "You learn how to do things the right way. So listen to your coaches or teachers so you learn to do things the right way and don't get hurt."
Elks Hoop Shoot winners advance to district
Six first-place finishers in their age groups last Sunday in the Rochester Elks Lodge No. 1091 Hoop Shoot contest at the UCR Regional Sports Center will advance to the district competition next Sunday in Owatonna.
Here are the top three in each division (score is number made out of 25 attempts):
Age 8-9 — 1. Eli Menke (Lake Mills, Iowa) 18; 2. Jaricho Mims (Rochester) 17; 3. Tyles Mayer (Harmony) 15. Age 10-11— 1. Ryan Ohm (Rochester) 20; 2. John Prestemon (Lanesboro) 18; 3. Mason Howard (Fountain) 16. Age 12-13— 1. Trevor Hershberger (Fountain) 19; 2. Tate Pieper (Lanesboro) 10; 3. Riley Serfling (Preston) 5.
Age 8-9 — 1. Jersey Ristau (Preston) 13; 2. Kaylee Lehrman (Stewartville) 9; 3. Ellie Howard (Fountain) 4, 4 out of 5 in shootout. Age 10-11— 1. Lauren Buckmeier (Stewartville) 16; 2. Courtney Hershberger (Preston) 14; 3. Claire Ruter (Rochester) 10. Age 12-13— 1. Lindsey Peterson (Wabasha) 19; 2. Sophie Pieper (Lanesboro) 13; 3. Raen Johnson (Harmony) 11.