Hockey Day Minnesota has a longstanding reputation in the Twin Cities as a weekend filled with hockey games, food, and fun memories.
This year, the St. Paul Downtown Airport, also known as Holman Field, was generous enough to allow the Hockey Day Minnesota crew to plan their awesome weekend on the tarmac of the airport. Holman Field is typically home for the Minnesota Army National Guard, but this year on Jan. 17, people from all over came to enjoy the ice rink that was quite literally built on the tarmac.
Not only did the games utilize the space at Holman Field, but the games and weekend honored our troops that have served or are serving. Jerseys were made that incorporated the signature army pattern, merchandise was designed around that pattern as well, and the entire weekend held moments that connected hockey fans to local troops, and those stationed in Kuwait. Hockey Day Minnesota, 2015, was truly a once in a lifetime experience.
Friday evening, down at Holman Field, the Saint Paul Police and the Saint Paul Firemen played against each other in a chummy hockey game labeled ‘Guns and Hoses’. Another game that took place Friday evening was the Minnesota National Guard against the Canadian Armed Forces, who graced us with their presence all the way from Canada. And that was just the start of the astonishing weekend!
Saturday was dedicated to high school teams competing for the self-proclaimed title as the Champions of Hockey Day Minnesota 2015. Local schools such as Saint Thomas Academy, Hill Murray, Johnson High School, Cretin-Derham Hall and more faced off throughout the day in friendly games, still honoring our local troops and those stationed in Kuwait. During the games, video feed of a soldier in Kuwait appeared on the scoreboard wishing each team a specific good luck, because they too were enjoying watching the games all the way in Kuwait. To say the experience was awesome is an understatement.
Mike Robert, announcer at Hockey Day Minnesota, summed up his experience that weekend in simple terms.
“There is nothing quite like being surrounded by players dedicated to their game, and troops dedicated to their country. What an honor it was to watch them interact and support one another,” Robert said.
Sunday was filled with youth hockey games from around the Twin Cities, carrying out a fun and relaxing end to the weekend for everyone involved.
It is safe to say the event coordinators for Hockey Day Minnesota did much more with this tradition than anyone expected, and those in charge next year will have a tough act to follow.