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New to Youth Hockey?

The Potomac Patriots

The Potomac Patriots offers a variety of developmental and competitive hockey programs to suit the needs of any youth hockey player. We offer a full range of recreational (weekend based) hockey.  We also offer Travel programs for kids aged 7-18.  

The Potomac Patriots Hockey Club has a strong relationship with the Prince William Ice Center and the Potomac Patriots Junior Hockey Club.  Whether you are just learning how to skate, or you are an aspiring junior hockey player, the Prince William Ice Center and the Potomac Patriots offers a variety of unique, developmental and fun hockey programs...all under one roof.  

Please visit the other pages on our website to gain additional insight on our organization and programs offered. If you have additional questions, please email us at

Just Starting Out?

For skaters who have never stepped foot in a hockey rink, the Prince William Ice Center offers two developmental programs:

LEARN TO SKATE:  This program is designed by U.S. Figure Skating to be the best beginning ice skating program that serves the needs of the recreational, hockey, and competitive skater.  This program offers curriculums in various figure skating disciplines and serves as the recognized feeder program for all USA Hockey youth hockey programs.

LEARN TO PLAY HOCKEY:  Prince William Ice Center's Potomac Hockey Academy's curriculum is designed to teach the fundamentals of hockey skating.  Skaters will learn how to maneuver faster and be more agile on the ice.  This program caters to kids with all levels of skating experience.  It will enhance forward skating, stops, starts, turns and backwards skating.  Skaters will develop stick handling, passing and shooting skills.  

To learn more about these and other developmental programs offered by the Prince William Ice Center, to include a schedule of upcoming classes, click HERE.

What is After Learn to Play Hockey?

The transition from the Learn to Play Hockey (LTP) to the Patriots program is not the same for every player. Age, skill, desire and personal goals will determine what is the best course of action for your child. The game of hockey changes as the players get bigger, stronger and faster. It may not be a safe or enjoyable experience to transition at the wrong time. 

Does every player need to complete LTP Hockey 4 before moving over to the Patriots? 

Not necessarily, younger skaters (ages 5 to 8) may be able to transition over to the Patriots Mite program directly from Hockey 2 or 3. When younger players are proficient at basic skating skills and are able to follow coaching directions, they may be ready to join the Patriots Mite Program.

The Patriots Mite Program is focused on skills development, not totally different from their experience at LTP. The goal is to keep players active with lots of opportunity to experiment and grow. Mites get plenty of opportunity to scrimmage and play the game of hockey. Mites play 4 on 4 cross ice hockey. During the fall season, mites have the opportunity to participate in jamborees and a mite tournament or two. 

Players 9 to 10 yrs old, are encouraged to complete Hockey 4, but some cases may be made to move to the Patriots Under 10 (Squirt) Program. At this age group, players are introduced to the real game of hockey. The group is divided into equal teams for a season of practices and full ice games. Your player will quickly learn the role of the Blue line.

Players 11 yrs old & up are required to complete Hockey 4 before moving over the Patriots program. For a safe and enjoyable hockey experience your player has to be proficient with all LTP Hockey 4 skills. Remember, most Patriot players at this age have been skating and playing for many years, while your player is working hard to catch up. With the right attitude and desire you player can make a successful transition to Patriot Hockey. 

Most of our LTP skaters will move into the Patriots House/Recreational program, but the Patriot offer a travel program if that is the right fit for you player and family. As with all new adventures it can be tough navigating the unknown. Please visit the other pages of our Patriots website to assist you.

Useful Resources for New Hockey Parents

Try Hockey for Free

At least twice a year, the Prince William Ice Center, in conjunction with USA Hockey, hosts a "Try Hockey for Free Day." USA Hockey and the Prince William Ice Center encourages kids, ages 4 to 9, to try youth hockey. There is no fee for this event and Prince William Ice Center provides full loaner gear.

USA Hockey

USA Hockey, Inc., is the National Governing Body for the sport of ice hockey in the United States. Its mission is to promote the growth of hockey in America and provide the best possible experience for all participants by encouraging, developing, advancing and administering the sport.

How to Hockey

While there are many “hockey 101” websites out there, this website, along with their YouTube channel, contains some pretty comprehensive information about hockey basics.

USA Hockey's Parents' Community

USA Hockey is committed to helping educate parents and children alike throughout their hockey career. Within this site is a lot of great information gathered from all over the web into one place and easily accessible. This site will continue to grow as new features and new information becomes available, so check back often.