Keepin' up with the hockey kids

Every four years or so ice time at Idaho Ice World gets a little bit more crowded. They call it the "Olympic bump." But there is one program that has been steadily growing for the last few years without the help of international competition.

On a typical Tuesday night at Idaho Ice World you will typically find an orchestration of choreographed chaos. Eighty kids on the ice at once for youth hockey isn't complete without countless padded pratfalls and a few tears.

But every class ends with an "I love hockey!" cheer, testament to the newfound love of the game. The "Learn to Skate" program has grown from just 14 kids four years ago to more than 200 this season.

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However, it's not the only rapidly rising program picking up more members.

"The parents will be watching and they're sort of getting bored," says Wil Smoke, assistant coordinator of the Learn to Skate program. "Just watching, week after week."

Just watching is why Kory Scoran started a class for BAD skaters. BAD is an acronym for Beginning Adult Development hockey.

"We're all bad skaters, yes," laughs Manny Berain, who started learning to play hockey just this year.

The group was an idea from Scoran, the former Idaho Steelheads defenseman who helped the team win a Kelly Cup in 2007. He last played for the Steelheads in 2012 then went from the rigors of the ECHL to the slightly slower pace of overseeing hockey operations at Idaho Ice World five years ago.

"I was getting kind of old and figured I better start getting a real job," laughs Kory.

After a couple of years on the job Kory noticed some parents on the other side of the glass who just wanted to join their kids on the ice.

"(We) started off with 8, then 12, then 20 now we got 40 (skaters)," says Kory. "Pretty much all winter long it's been 40 so it's been a blast."

Many can count their time on skates in mere hours and some started from scratch.

"I mean this is something I knew nothing about," says Sharon Cooper, 51.

But all have a reason to be out here.

"I'm just one of those people where it's new, it's fun, why not?" says Sharon.

"My grandson is actually my inspiration," says Manny Berain. "He's been playing since he was three."

So Manny took up skating at 55.

"But you know, better late than never," says Jim, 51, who took to skates to join his wife, Linda, who plays on a women's team.

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Kory says giving back to the game that gave him so much has been the best decision he's ever made. And watching his not-so-young charges go from only able to hug the boards to actually skating has been rewarding, to say the least.

"It's great just to see them develop, and develop a love for the game," says Kory, as a player falls right at his feet. "Yep, there it is!"

Well, at least they'll get a better feel of what their kids are going through.

As you can imagine, with only two rinks available, ice time fills up quickly at Idaho Ice World, but there is still plenty of room in their B.A.D. Hockey program.