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Youth Ice Hockey Equipment: Getting Your Child Ice-Ready This Season

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“Mom! Where’s my . . . ?”

For most of us, your child’s hockey bag probably hasn’t been opened since (YIKES!) last season. And no parent wants to be alerted of a missing glove or mouth guard as you’re headed to the first practice. Then there’s the sudden growth spurt that happened without your permission over the summer and now the skates are too tight. Sound about right? With every new season, it’s always a good idea to run through your child’s youth ice hockey equipment checklist whether new to the sport or a returning player.

Where to start and what to consider

According to Hector Rosario, general manager at East Coast Hockey and Skating Supply at The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, Maryland, the number one piece of equipment parents tend to overlook is the helmet. “I recommend investing in a good, quality helmet verses a high-priced hockey stick. A $200+ hockey stick isn’t going to protect your child like a $200+ helmet will.”

When it comes to protection, proper fit is imperative. Rosario suggests the Bauer and CCM brands, especially the new CCM FitLite 3DS. “Hockey helmets are adjustable as kids grow and should be replaced every three years,” Rosario says.

The National Governing Body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States, USA Hockey, Inc., recommends that players wear a snug-fitting HECC-certified helmet that’s in good shape, along with full facial protection. The organization also requires a mouth guard for all youth hockey players, regardless of age.

When it comes to equipment, sometimes your player will need to experiment with a few brands to get the right fit and comfort level. From head to toe, proper fitting gear that stays in place and is comfortable will greatly enhance your child’s safety on the ice.

Here’s a great checklist to help your child get ice ready for the season ahead.

 On the Body

  • Helmet with mask
  • Mouth guard in a box or baggie
  • Neck guard
  • Water bottle
  • Moisture-wicking top with long sleeves (optional)
  • Shoulder pads
  • Practice or game jerseys (both home and away)
  • Elbow pads
  • Gloves
  • Moisture-wicking pants (optional)
  • Hockey jock with Velcro and/or tape for socks
  • Hockey pants (also called breezers)
  • Suspenders (optional)
  • Shin guards
  • Hockey socks (with tape if used)
  • Skating socks
  • Skates

In the Bag

  • Stick (plus backup stick)
  • Tape (for sticks and socks)
  • Skate guards
  • Skate towel
  • Optional: extra mouth guard, extra skate laces, skate tool, stick wax, “emergency” snack

Goalie Extras

Goalies need everything above except for the helmet, gloves, and shin guards—plus, they also need:

  • Mask
  • Throat protector
  • Chest/arm protector
  • Catcher
  • Blocker
  • Leg pads
  • Goalie skates (for older goalies)
  • Goalie stick


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