May 3, 2024


Meet Tony Powell, a valued member of the Eagle Pool & Ice Rink, whose passion for hockey runs deep. Tony’s journey in hockey began as a child, where he developed his skills playing club in Vail. His dedication paid off, and during his sophomore year at the University of Colorado, he clinched a national championship in the Division II American Collegiate Hockey Association.

Today, with the same dedication, Tony generously volunteers his time with Mountain Recreation where he elevates the sport by contributing as a hockey coach, role model, and fostering inclusivity. We’re happy to share a snippet of his story with you and congratulate him on completing another wonderful season.



It all starts at home, and that couldn’t be truer for Tony. Drawing inspiration from cherished moments with his parents, Nancy and Willy Powell, Tony seamlessly incorporates family and community values into his role as a devoted father to his children, six-year-old Eddy and three-year-old Alice. During the 2023-2024 hockey season, Tony volunteered as a coach for his son’s mini mites hockey team, fostering a supportive environment where young players could learn and grow.

“Being able to experience hockey with Eddy and his peers has been a wonderful learning experience for him and me. With 5 and 6-year-olds, most of the time we’re skating and trying to incorporate learning the skill with a lot of fun; we’re jumping over obstacles, skating around cones, playing tag—and with the other coaches Bill, Lizzy, Jeff, and Sara, we all work as a great team. Everyone brings a different energy to the ice and everyone’s style compliments one another”.



Bill Foster, a Vail Yeti Hockey Player, and Youth Hockey coach at Mountain Rec, praised Tony’s coaching abilities: “Tony was a great coach and resource. He was extremely patient, especially with the new skaters. He was able to get never before skaters to do complex drills in a matter of weeks. I thoroughly enjoyed coaching with him.”

Why does Tony coach? Tony has had great role models in his life—his parents, wife, friends, and community—and he strives to be a role model for our hockey community by “being able to show a strong work ethic while expressing empathy, understanding, and inclusiveness for the kids we have out on the ice”.

Tony recognizes that hockey can be an expensive sport between equipment and travel. According to the Star Tribune, “hockey is the most expensive youth sport. The Aspen Institute surveyed 1,032 youth sports parents in 2019 and found families spend on average $2,583 a year for kids to play”. As he reflects on the positive experience of coaching young players, he sees an opportunity to promote inclusivity by breaking down financial barriers for underrepresented groups. He points to programs like the Learn to Play Hockey Program, recognizing its financial value.



The Learn to Play Hockey Program was created by the Colorado Avalanche to maximize the number of kids playing hockey in Colorado. The program has a cost of $250 per player and includes a full set of brand-new fitted hockey gear, six-hour on-ice instructional sessions, and one on-ice session with Colorado Avalanche Alumni or Female Ambassadors members. The registration for this year’s program will open at the end of July and the program will take place this fall at the Eagle Ice Rink. You can learn more at learntoplay.nhl.com



When asked what benefits he see’s in the youth that participate in our hockey leagues, this is what Tony shared:

“They learn how to interact with other kids, they’re learning a skill, a little bit about teamwork which will grow as they progress, they’re having fun, and they’re experiencing everything with their peer group which is why it’s fun”.

Tony has witnessed firsthand the transformative power of the ice, where children’s smiles light up the rink as they claim it their own. We invite you to share in this experience by introducing your children to the benefits that come with sport participation. The ice is more than just a surface; let it be a place where they can thrive and feel truly at home. While the 2023-2024 Youth Hockey League concluded in March, we eagerly await Tony and our incredible youth returning to the ice this fall for yet another great season!

As Tony Powell’s story illustrates, the Eagle Ice Rink is a place for hockey enthusiasts, and a vibrant community hub where families like the Powells find belonging, joy, and growth. Whether it’s through coaching young athletes, being a role model, or promoting inclusivity, we celebrate Tony for elevating hockey at the Eagle Ice Rink through our core values of learning, excellence, and community.

Zyanya Rodriguez is the Marketing & Events Coordinator at Mountain Recreation. Contact Zyanya at ZRodriguez@MountainRec.org

Sign up for our community newsletter and be first to know about Mountain Recreation news, specials, events, and more.