Saturday, January 21, 2017

2017 Hockey Day Minnesota

Today is the eleventh annual Hockey Day in Minnesota, an annual event run in cooperation between Fox Sports North and the Minnesota Wild. FS North will feature over 16 hours of hockey related programming, beginning at 9 AM central time.

Hockey Day logo, Hockey Day logo

Stillwater, 20 miles northeast of St. Paul, has been chosen as the host site. Several outdoor games will be played there in Lowell Park on the St. Croix River under the shadow of the picturesque Stillwater Lift Bridge which connects Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The forecast looks marginal though,with a high of 40º and a 50-60% chance of rain throughout the day, but a cooling system should help keep the ice in good condition.

2017HDM_logo Bridge
The Stillwater Lift Bridge which spans the St. Croix River

The day begins with a pair of boys high school hockey games starting at 10 AM with Thief River Falls from the far northwest corner of the state taking on Mahtomedi from the northeast part of the Twin Cities metro area (7 miles west of Stillwater), who are ranked #5 in the smaller Class A.

That game will be followed by #6 AA Eden Prarie (9-4-2), also from the Twin Cities metro area, facing hosts Stillwater (13-1-0), who are the #1 ranked Class AA team in the state at 1:00

The player to watch in that game is Casey Mittlestadt, who has already played on the US National U18 Team, been written about in the New York Times, has committed to play at the University of Minnesota next season and is a consensus top five pick for this year's NHL draft.

Mittelstadt EP 2
Casey Mittlestadt

Following the second high school game, FSN will have plenty of feature programming on various hockey topics around Minnesota at all levels until the excitement builds at 5 PM when the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers visit the University of Wisconsin Badgers in a Big Ten Hockey Conference matchup in an intense rivalry that dates back over 50 years.

Gophers vs Badgers
The Golden Gophers and Badgers will
renew their rivalry in Madison

Following the college game, it's finally time for the pros to take center stage when the red-hot Minnesota Wild host the Anaheim Ducks. The Wild are led by forward Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter. The Wild lead the Western Conference with a 29-10-5 record under new head coach Bruce Boudreau and will be facing his former team the Ducks, who are leading the Pacific Division with a 26-13-9 record, just 2 points back of the Wild.

Suter Parise, Suter Parise
Ryan Suter and Zach Parise

Over 18,000 fans will be on hand at the Xcel Energy Center with many more taking in the festivities in Stillwater as well as all the other 47 boys high school games scheduled to take place around the state today.

Also, at 3:00 on the sister Fox Sports North Plus channel, the Minnesota State Mavericks will face the St. Cloud State Huskies in a WCHA women's college matchup.

Following the Wild game, Hockey Day in Minnesota will conclude with a tape delayed broadcast at 11 PM of the Minnetonka vs. Stillwater girls high school outdoor game from Lowell Park.

It's going to be a fantastic, fun filled day of hockey, hockey and more hockey and a great way to to spend your Saturday if you can access FSN.

Today's video section begins with a look at the preparations for Hockey Day Minnesota in Stillwater.

Next, a look at Mittlestadt and the Eden Prarie Eagles.

Stillwater Lift Bridge 2

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