Hockey was never important to me growing up, especially because I lived no where near a professional team and in Wisconsin, hockey is not a big deal. Well, that all changed when I moved to Minnesota. People eat, sleep, and breathe hockey here. It’s a big deal. My first college hockey game was incredible to say the least. It also helps that the St. Cloud State Men’s hockey team is a division one team and are usually ranked within the top five. Anyways, my blog isn’t about the great team I have the opportunity to watch every other weekend for free and cheer for at the top of my lungs. No…this blog is about something much bigger. An entire weekend dedicated to the love for hockey.
Hockey Day Minnesota took place in St. Cloud this year which was extremely convenient, seeing I only had to walk 15 minutes to get there. The event was held at Lake George. Now, I absolutely love winter, mainly just the snow, but I also enjoy all winter activities (skiing, snowmobiling, ice-skating, tubing, etc.). However, this winter has been extremely dreadful because, yes, global warming is real, and there is grass showing in the middle of January. Fortunately, at Lake George, the entire park was turned into a winter wonderland. Christmas trees of every shape and size were displayed around event. Multiple, custom-made fire-pits kept community members warm, and were used to roast marshmallows. Ice sculptures were on display by the VIP section, and a full ice-sculpture bar was used. Decorative lights, as you can see in the pictures, set the unique scene and welcomed guests.
Lake George was cleared for anyone to ice-skate, and two miniature rinks were used for the little skaters to compete on. The main stage was located in the center of it all. A standard sized hockey rink was set up for alumni, high school, and the women’s SCSU team to compete. Fox Sports North was there to cover all of the games and stream the game on multiple big screens. Long story short, it was incredible. The atmosphere was extremely fun; It was about 35 degrees outside. After a period of women’s hockey, my roommates and I wondered around for awhile and ended in an intense battle of bags.
Later in the evening, the men’s hockey team played Mankato, a close rival. The Minnesota Wild also played at night to conclude the hockey day events. Now, I know you’re probably thinking, who cares, what’s the point…but if you’ve read this far, I know you’re somewhat interested. Hockey is a sport I’ve never even put much thought into until moving to Minnesota. Now, after living here for almost two years I’ve come to two conclusions about life here. One…hockey is badass, it will get your heart racing, people love it, and watching little kids play hockey will brighten your day at any time. Two…people here say “duck, duck, grey duck.” And if you’re anything like me, you would raise your eyebrows, say what the hell, and argue that it’s “duck, duck, goose.” My point is exploring new places, even if you’re a state away is a wide-awakening to how diverse the world truly is. I can’t wait to further explore the world and expand my horizon to unknown places, peoples, and odd norms.