Grand Rapids/Greenway Girls Set for Hockey Day Minnesota
Puck drop for the game is set for 8 p.m. at the Parade Stadium in Minneapolis.
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – This past summer, the Grand Rapids/Greenway Lightning were selected to participate in the 14th annual Hockey Day Minnesota where they will be playing a non-conference game out in the elements.
The Lightning are the second Iron Range team to participate in Hockey Day Minnesota in the past two years. Last year, the Greenway boys hockey team got to play in Bemidji before going on to the state championship later that year.
“I know last year like spectating out boys it was a super cool experience so I can’t even imagine playing and having all those other people come down and watch us be apart of that,” junior center Claire Vekich said.
“These girls, it’ll be something they’re not going to remember whether they won or lost they’ll remember how cold they were and they’ll remember just the experience the build up,” said head coach Brad Hyduke
The Lightning last played an outdoor game two years ago, and the girls are preparing the best way they can.
“I’m expecting it to be cold hoping that it’s not as cold as it was in Bemidji last year that’s for sure but we are just trying to plan ahead trying to figure out some layers to wear under our equipment and I’m expecting it’ll be an atmosphere I’ve never really experienced before.”
The girls are no strangers to skating outside. Many have grown up practicing and outdoor rinks and lakes with their friends. So an outdoor game is something they are looking forward to.
“It’s definitely colder but I love it honestly I like the cold wind, the adrenaline, everything about it it’s just super cool the Minnesota feel it’s cold,” senior defender Hannah Mark said.
“It’s kind of more natural I feel like because playing outside and playing on lakes it’s kind of like that’s where the culture of hockey really originated,” said Vekich.
Grand Rapids/Greenway will be taking on The Blake School, who lost in their section finals last year to the eventual state champs Edina. Both teams will be getting together for a meal beforehand to enjoy the experience.
“They’re a very very good team they are well-coached. Sean Reid is a great guy and we have kind of built a relationship making sure our girls have a really good shared experience when we are down there and we are hoping the cold gets to them,” said Hyduke.
Puck drop for the game is set for 8 p.m. at Parade Stadium in Minneapolis.