When the YAIA began, it was primarily focused as a hockey program. The name "Miracle" was chosen as a reflection of an Olympic miracle. Legendary Herb Brooks, who was married to Yankton native, Patti Lane, coached the 1980 USA Olympic hockey team. That gold-medal team brought a legacy of hope, hard work and home-grown triumph to hockey.
The second reason for the Miracle moniker was because of the tall odds the organizers overcame to bring ice recreation to the area. Despite many stating the ice facility would never be accomplished in Yankton, ground was struck, a building was constructed and the first league hockey team hit the ice.
YAIA’s philosophy follows that of how Herb Brooks believed hockey should be grown: grow the game from the grass roots and make it available to everyone. Of note, Brooks once said "Let’s be real -- Arenas cost a lot of money and we don’t always need elaborate indoor facilities with restaurants, beautiful lobbies and architectural niceties. We need ice sheets, locker rooms and re-surfacers. We have to ask ourselves, who are we building these for; the fans or the kids?"
Other Herb Brooks quotes: