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Hockey teams from across AZ at Tucson Arena

Posted at 10:38 PM, Jan 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-17 00:39:50-05

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A music icon postpones her tour stop in Tucson which makes room for a big weekend of youth hockey at Tucson Arena.

Janet Jackson's Unbreakable World Tour was supposed to stop in Tucson next week, which would have occupied the Tucson Arena this weekend. At the end of December she announced she postponed the tour to have an undisclosed surgery, leaving the arena and its ice rink open for the weekend. The Wildcat Youth Hockey Association jumped at the chance to use it.

"We were able to use the ice on Saturday and Sunday and invite lots of teams from Phoenix and Flagstaff to come play us," said Ryan DeJoe, hockey coach and president of the Wildcat Youth Hockey Association.

In just three weeks, the youth hockey group was able to get three teams from across Arizona to come play the Tucson Wildcats at Tucson Arena.

DeJoe says he has never seen so much hockey in Tucson in the seven years he has lived here.

A weekend of hockey like this is rare for youth players, not just in Tucson, but across Arizona. Some teams rarely play any games.

"Here we tend to play against each other a lot, so they kind of become familiar," said Scott Perger, a parent.

"This was like my third game playing, we don't get to play a lot of games, so it was a lot of fun," said Parker Bostock, a player on the Tucson Wildcats.

Parents and kids from Flagstaff feel the same way. They made the four hour drive just to play a few hockey games.

"I asked my son if he wanted to go and he instantly said yes," said Erick Brown, his son plays for the Flagstaff North Stars.

These could be the last games for a while here in Tucson. The Tucson Arena's rink is the only ice rink in town, and the Tucson Convention Center will soon need to remove it to make room for the Gem and Mineral Showcase.

The youth hockey community is still pushing for a dedicated hockey rink somewhere in Tucson.