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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Parents, don’t be surprised if you kids start asking you about playing hockey. More and more young people are discovering the sport and hitting the ice.

The numbers could climb as Lamar Hunt Jr. takes over as the owner of the Missouri Mavericks hockey team. He not only wants more fans, he wants more kids involved in the sport.

Hockey fever is riding high in Independence these days.There are dozens of teams for kids of all ages, from beginners on up. However, there aren’t many places to play. Hunt would like to see that change and soon.

“Really concentrate on building more skaters in Kansas City, the entire Kansas City metro and getting more skaters on the ice to play ice hockey. We need more sheets of ice to do that and I’ve got a vision for that,” he said.

Hunt said the details will come soon, for now he’s getting used to his new job as the owner of the Mavericks. A survey of parents with kids already playing hockey showed it’s easy for the young ones to pick up and they have fun.

“I think it’s a great sport, I grew up playing soccer and always wanted to play hockey, this guy he wanted to try hockey out, so I brought him out and here we go,” said Eddie Cupini.

“We’ve been watching the Mavericks and he wanted to play hockey, said you have to learn how to skate first, so I got him skating lessons and from there he was hooked,” explained Matt Sanders.

There is a “Try Hockey for Free” event coming up on February 21. Go to for more info and to register.