Puck drops for Mankato’s Hockey Day Minnesota celebration

Let the games begin!
Published: Jan. 16, 2022 at 11:05 PM CST
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -The Hockey Day Minnesota celebration is finally here after getting pushed back a year due to COVID-19 as MSU’s Blakeslee Stadium turns into an outdoor hockey venue.

“I’m really excited Hockey Day Minnesota is here because we’re showing the cities’ teams that we belong,” said Penny Gorman, hockey player and Hockey Day Minnesota volunteer.

Get those skates and sticks out, because it’s southern Minnesota’s turn to show the state of Minnesota how to hockey.

“Whoever comes out playing, it’ll be pretty exciting. Once in a lifetime opportunity for young kids,” said Denny Mata, Hockey Day Minnesota parent.

“We’ve got over 1,000 youth that will take the ice early this week and make memories on Hockey Day Minnesota Ice. We’re so proud as a community,” said Michelle Schooff, Mankato Hockey Day Minnesota Co-Chair.

A handful of teams hit the ice for the first day of action in what’s just the start of this historic week of hockey.

The community is pulling out all the stops to make the first Hockey Day Minnesota hosted in southern Minnesota a memorable one with eight days of games.

“We had such an investment in the ice, grounds, we really wanted to open up the opportunity for so many people to enjoy hockey, even the winter village atmosphere up here and get as many people from all levels, ages, and abilities to enjoy the ice,” said Schooff.

And there’s no shortage of can’t miss match-ups happening throughout the celebration.

“The East vs. West, and the Mavericks game. I’m excited to see them play,” see Ella Fugazzi, hockey player and Hockey Day Minnesota volunteer.

All taking place outdoors, the same way many across the state learned the ins and outs of the sport.

“This is how I grew up personally, playing outside, wind in your face, your lungs. The ice sounds awesome, the puck, it’s a different sound, different feel everyone should experience at some time,” said Shari Dickerman, MSU Women’s Hockey Assistant Coach.

An electric atmosphere for a packed week of action. Let’s play hockey southern Minnesota.

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