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New to Hockey?


Registration for the 2024-25 JR Rangers is NOW OPEN! For questions on the JR Rangers Hockey program or if you need help with registration please email

Welcome to the Forest Lake Hockey Association (FLHA)!

We're so glad you're considering joining our hockey family! At FLHA, we believe that hockey is more than just a game—it's a journey that enriches the lives of both children and their families.

When you sign up your child, you're opening the door to a supportive community where your child will grow as an athlete and as an individual, learning valuable life lessons in a safe and fun environment.

Our hockey program fosters a sense of belonging and camaraderie that extends beyond the rink. It's a place where children learn the importance of dedication, hard work, and sportsmanship, all while having fun and making unforgettable memories and forging lifelong relationships.

We can't wait to welcome your family to FLHA, where every goal is celebrated and every player is valued!        

We hope to see you at the rink!

Matt Folsom, Recruiting & Retention Director

What are the benefits of children learning to play hockey?

Hockey is not only a Minnesota tradition, but if you talk to families who have children that play hockey, most will share a common theme in regards to things they've noticed such as:

  • Advanced Hand-Eye Coordination - skating and stickhandling at the same time is an incredibly difficult skill to acquire.  Learning to do this at an early age can make other sports like golf, tennis, baseball, softball, lacrosse, etc much easier to pick up later for these kids.
  • Improved Athleticism - the leg strength and balance that is required of new skaters tends to help with other endeavors that require a strong core and lower body strength such as running, skiing, soccer, and many other sports.
  • Teamwork - hockey is a team sport that requires players coordinating together on the ice for a common goal.  Over time they begin to learn that passing and working together offers the best path to success.  These are lessons that can serve a person for a lifetime.
  • Improved Social Skills  - learning to play hockey is a difficult sport with much more failure than success and the children that participate tend to be more accepting of themselves and others.  The comradery they have with their teammates seems to ultimately help them to be more confident in other social situations with other kids.

What equipment is needed for hockey?

Learning to skate while wearing hockey equipment softens the landing, making the experience more enjoyable. Below is the list of common equipment:

  • Hockey helmet
  • Neck protector (required by USA Hockey)
  • Shoulder pads
  • Elbow pads
  • Hockey gloves
  • Breezers/pants
  • Shin guards
  • Skates (no double blade skates)
  • Skate guards (to cover the blades when not on the ice)
  • Hockey stick (not always necessary for beginner programs)
  • Jock shorts with a protective cup (highly encouraged)
  • Mouth guard (highly encouraged)

Typically provided by team:

  • Jersey (most often provided by the program)
  • Hockey socks - these are thick wool wraps that cover the shin guards (most often provided by the program)

Clothing to wear under equipment:

  • Sweatpants
  • Long or short sleeve shirt

When to get dressed:

  • Some kids prefer to get their equipment on at home and when they arrive at the rink they put on skates. 
  • Other families will bring the whole equipment bag to the rink and dress them there

There are many families willing to help with properly dressing for hockey. Please don't hesitate to ask! 

How to dress your hockey player


The United Heroes League (formerly Defending The Blue Line).

Keeping military kids active and healthy while their parents serve our country.

Free equipment

Free game tickets

Free camps

Free grants and financial assistance for hockey and other sports.

How to save money on hockey equipment

To help with cost of hockey equipment, there are several options to consider:

  • FLHA offers equipment sets to new families through the Junior Rangers program and in partnership with Strauss Skate in Maplewood. Supplies are limited; Email to check availability.
  • The Little Wild Learn to Play program through the MN Wild offers a package that includes 4 ice sessions and an equipment set for $180 and includes free tickets to a Wild pre-season game.  For more information, go to
  • FLHA will offer a "Skate & Gear Exchange" where skates are collected from other families that have outgrown and recycled within our program. This year's event is scheduled for Saturday, Sept 7th from 4:30 - 6:30pm on the South rink.  

Used equipment is a great option especially for newer skaters. Play it Again Sports (Blaine and other locations) is a great option.

What level should I sign my child up for?

FLHA has a variety of program levels that will suit most any situation.  Since most kids tend to start hockey when they are 4 to 6 years old, you will find most beginner programs are centered around those ages. But for kids that start at a later age,  we will work with you to determine the best  level for your particular skater.  If you have any questions, please email Matt Folsom at

2024-2025 Mite / 8U Program Levels