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Hockey Day Minnesota 2016 to be held at Duluth's Bayfront Park

As has been reported by the Duluth News Tribune and then by the Duluth Fox affiliate KQDS, the annual hockey celebration in the state of Minnesota known as Hockey Day Minnesota will be taking place in the port city of Duluth. The 10th Hockey Day Minnesota will be held at Bayfront Park and will be co-hosted by Duluth Denfeld Hunters and Duluth East Greyhounds.

Hockey Day Minnesota has been put on by Fox Sports - North and the Minnesota Wild and features three high school hockey games held outdoors, a college game, and a night cap of the Wild playing in Downtown St. Paul. Last year's HDM was held at St. Paul's Holman Field in conjunction with the Minnesota National Guard. After nine successful Hockey Day Minnesota's, the day has basically become a state holiday and an all-encompassing celebration of the sport of hockey in the State of Minnesota.

Bayfront Festival Park

Located west of Duluth's Historic Canal Park area, Bayfront Park overlooks the harbor that makes up the Port of Duluth on Lake Superior. It's home to many outdoor festivals that includes the All Pints North Brewfest, Art in Bayfront Park art festival, and many music festivals that feature everything from reggae and world music to folk and blues music. The park has played host to artists such as Trampled by Turtles, Rick Springfield, Blues Traveler, Buddy Guy, a hot air balloon festival, and will now add Hockey Day Minnesota to its list.

Duluth East

  • Head Coach: Mike Randolph
  • Section: 7AA
  • Conference: Independent
  • Nickname: Greyhounds
  • State Tournament Appearances: 21

The Greyhounds were runners-up to the perfect 31-0 Lakeville North team in the Minnesota State High School Tournament. After finishing the regular season at 11-10-4, the Greyhounds made an inspiring run to the finals as the Cinderella story of the tournament. After coming back from a 5-2 deficit to win in overtime against St. Thomas Academy, they went on to defeat the Edina Hornets 3-1 in the semifinals. The Greyhounds playing the underdog the entire tournament took out the two teams most high school hockey fans love to hate. But the dream would end against the Poehling machine on Lakeville North. Brothers Nick, Jack, and Ryan Poehling of the Panthers combined for three goals and five assists to beat the Greyhounds' improbable run.

Duluth East will appear in its third Hockey Day Minnesota.

Duluth Denfeld

  • Head Coach: Kevin Smalley
  • Conference: Lake Superior
  • Section: 7A
  • Nickname: Hunters
  • State Tournament Appearances: 3

The Denfeld Hunters finished the 14-15 season 18-7-0 in the Lake Superior Conference, second to the Hermantown Hawks. The high school resides on Duluth's west side and lies at the foot of the Richard I. Bong Memorial bridge. Denfeld has been to the State Tournament three times all coming in the late 80's. In the last post-season, the Hunters opened up the 7A Section quarterfinals with a 3-0 victory over Eveleth. Nick Thompson scored a pair of power play goals and assisted on Zack Thompson's goal in the third period to seal the victory for Denfeld. They then fell to crosstown rivals Duluth-Marshall in the section semifinals 4-0. However, lately it's been very difficult to win that 7A section with the Hermantown power house making five straight state tourney's only to be defeated in the final.

This will be Denfeld's first Hockey Day Minnesota.

The opponents for each team, the girls' hockey game participants, and the dates will be officially announced by the Wild and Fox Sports - North at a later date.