Minnesota Wild Surprise Peewees with Youth Hockey Spotlight Game
DULUTH, Minn.– A pair of local peewee hockey teams got the surprise of a lifetime, when they showed up for their game at the Heritage Center.
As part of the youth hockey spotlight game series, the Minnesota Wild made a special visit to the Northland, for a peewee hockey game between Duluth East and North Shore.
Each player received gear, jerseys, and the full Minnesota Wild treatment.
“I got a text message forwarded to me from the father of one of the kids who played in the game, and he said his kid probably won’t sleep for a week, and he thought he was playing for the peewee Stanley cup and he said it was an awesome experience,” Wayne Peterson, Director of Community Relations, Minnesota Wild, said.
Each team had an honorary coaches who were both former Wild players.
Stephane Veilleux on the North Shore bench, and current Bally Sports TV Analyst Wes Walz on the Duluth East bench.
“I talk to them a little bit about their team, teamwork, playing hard, being coachable, being a good teammate, these are life lessons that you’re going to take out of your locker room, not just this year, but locker rooms all the way through, and then you get out in the real life, you’re going to have to deal with adversity, all those little life lessons, I just try to pass those kind of messages along to the kids,” Wes Walz, Minnesota Wild TV Analyst, said.
In an effort to recreate a game day atmosphere, the Minnesota Wild brought along their in-arena announcer, their national anthem singer, and ever fan in attendance got this spotlight rally towel.
And this experience is one that everyone has been able to enjoy and the kids will never forget.
“We were just joking that the game might become almost anti-climactic because of all the things before hand, and I think if you’re a kid, a what, 11, 12 or 13 year old kid, you’ve died and gone to heaven, this is absolutely fantastic. And I think on a bigger scale for this arena, I’ve always said this is, to me, this is the coolest youth arena in the state of hockey, and now we get to showcase that arena for others to see or whatever,” Bob Nygaard, Executive Director, Duluth Amateur Hockey Association said.
Proceeds from Tuesday’s game will be split between the Duluth and North Shore youth hockey associations.