Hermantown Hockey’s Christmas Eve Alumni Game Brings Together Decades of Tradition

A family is how many have described the hockey community in Hermantown, and this is just another way the Hermantown community continues its traditions.

HERMANTOWN, Minn. – Hermantown is all about hockey, many years of tradition is on display each Christmas Even when alumni come back to take on the current varsity team.

“We have Division-oners playing with guys that never played a day after high school and it’s just great to see everybody and it just keeps the community going that hockey community and the alumni are always welcome,” said Patrick Andrews, the head coach of Hermantown hockey.

Guys who are still playing are skating with dads who played over a decade ago.

They all come back to have fun and get back out on Hermantown ice again.

“I’m starting to be a little bit older where I don’t know as many of the guys but some of my friends younger brothers are out there and that so it’s kinda fun to go out there and mess with those guys and to give back to them a little bit so I really look forward to it,” said Wyatt Aamodt, who now plays for Minnesota State hockey.

The varsity team is in the midst of a great season, for them it can be a bit humbling playing the alumni.

“It used to be the varsity just kind of taking it to the alumni like 25 years ago but now it’s pretty much varsity just hanging on for dear life and trying not to look stupid with NHLers and D-Iers out there just kind of doing whatever they want,” said Andrews.

The guys say the game gets competitive towards the end, but for them it is mostly about enjoying each other and loving the game.

“It’s super cool a bunch of these guys I grew up watching like idolizing and looking up to so it’s fun to come out here and play against them and have some fun out there. It’s just really cool there’s a lot of guys that have a lot of tradition in this building so it’s cool to play against them,” said Drew Sams, a senior on Hermantown’s hockey team.

One of the players that is looked up to is Cole Koepke who is fresh off a championship season with UMD.

He says he loves coming back and giving back to his high school program.

“There’s been so many great players that come through Hermantown so if any of them get to look up to me I guess that’s a great honor to me and if I can be a great role model for them that’s exactly what I want to do,” said Koepke, who is a sophomore forward on UMD’s hockey team.

According to the players past and present the secret to Hermantown’s winning tradition comes from the outdoor rinks.

“The culture we’ve developed out there it’s pretty special you go out there and develop yourself over your whole childhood so you spend almost every day out there just having fun it doesn’t even feel like work it’s just having fun with your buddies,” said Sams.

A family is how many have described the hockey community in Hermantown, and this is just another way the Hermantown community continues its traditions.

“I think I just want to go out there have some fun mess around with the guys a little bit, maybe get under their skin trying to have some fun so it’s going to be a good game it’s Christmas eve so we’re trying to have some fun out there,” said Sams.

Hermantown will be next on the ice in the Hilltopper Holiday Classic at Mars Lakeview Arena on December 26.

Categories: College, High School, Sports, University of Minnesota – Duluth