Summit Youth Hockey has had a great first half of the season and is anticipating some strong competition in January and February. The Summit Mites, ages 8 and under, are off to a splendid start after participating in cross-ice jamborees in Glenwood and Eagle. The Thunder and Lightning squads look forward to hosting their own jamboree at the Steven C. West Ice Arena in early February. The Summit Squirts 'B' Team came home with a first-place tournament win in New Mexico and have proven it will be a force to be reckoned with this season, with wins over Aspen and Vail. The Squirt 'C' Team is currently in third place in the division.The girls, ages 12 and under, are also off to an exciting start. Coming away with several one-goal games this season, they are looking to compete for a playoff spot in the coming months. Meanwhile, the Summit PeeWees, ages 12 and under, are leading their league. The Bantam A's & B's, ages 14 and under, are competitive, while the Midgets, ages 18 and under, are sitting just one game out of first place, and the girls, ages 19 and under, are surprising most teams in the state this year, beating league-leader Aspen and tying second-place Fort Collins in recent contests. This team has a strong group of returning players looking to make their mark this season. Summit Youth Hockey's mission is to introduce children to the sport of hockey. The boys' and girls' development programs offer youth the basics of the game without the commitment and intimidation of joining a travel squad. As such, the organization has offered several "Try Hockey for Free" days throughout the season, and the final one is coming up Sunday. From 8:45-10 a.m., boys and girls ages 4-8 can skate with the coaches and veteran hockey players. All equipment is provided for the session, but participants are asked to pre-register by contacting marketing manager Jessica Johns at firstname.lastname@example.org. "This season is off to a strong start," Johns said. "We continue to set new records for membership. We have a very experienced and well-trained coaching staff, and are continuing to ... allow our youth a chance to be introduced to hockey."