Hockey pioneer blazes a new trail

It has been 44 years since Willie O'Ree broke the NHL's color barrier, but just 30 black players have followed him. On a mission to cultivate its integration, the sport's pioneer now blazes a new trail.

Originally Published: February 25, 2002
By Alan Grant | ESPN The Magazine

Nine minutes into the third period, Ryan Jackman scores a goal to knot the game at 4. "Tie Game! Tie Game!" he shouts as the other 7-year-olds offer their gloved palms in a round of high-fives.

It's Saturday morning and the Mt. Vernon Ice Skating and Hockey Club is taking on rival Mamaroneck. Mt. Vernon is among 30 youth hockey programs across the North America in the NHL/USA Hockey Diversity Task Force, which was designed to coax economically disadvantaged kids onto the ice. But today's ...

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