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The grand total of youth hockey

When it comes to the sports benefits, even the smell is worth it

Updated: July 2, 2013, 1:19 PM ET
By Steve Wulf | ESPN The Magazine

They came in all shapes and sizes, from Maine to Arizona, Alaska to Florida, 25 states in all. Yet, every one of the 1,300 girls descending upon Sharks Ice at San Jose for USA Hockey's 2013 National Championships had one thing in common. Slung over each player's shoulder was a duffel bag -- a big, bulky, about-to-rip duffel bag.

That's part of being a hockey player, carrying this 40-pound behemoth into and out of rinks while juggling two sticks in one hand and a drink in the other. ...

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