Saturday is Hockey Day Minnesota at Bayfront Park in Duluth. We have the event covered on 92.1 The Fan, and you can listen free on iHeartRadio.
Here's a preview of what you'll hear on the radio, besides the games, of course. Jeff Papas, Kraig Karakas, and I will be with you throughout the day. We start on the air at 9:30am Saturday.
At 9:35am, Duluth Mayor Emily Larson welcomes this wonderful event to the city and Bayfront Park.
At 9:40am, we talk with the new executive director of the Duluth Amateur Hockey Association, Jason Watt, about his new role and growing up playing on Duluth's outdoor rinks all the way to his time at UMD.
Before the 10am game between Eveleth-Gilbert and Duluth Denfeld, we'll visit with the head coaches of both teams, Jeff Torrel of Eveleth-Gilbert and Kevin Smalley from Duluth Denfeld.
After the first period, we chat with the director of the Local Organizing Committee that was instrumental in bringing Hockey Day Minnesota to Bayfront Park, Jeremy Downs. We'll discuss the challenges and the amount of work that went into this production.
In the second intermission, we'll hear from the athletic director at Duluth Denfeld, Tom Pearson, as we learn about the impact of the event on Denfeld's athletic program and community.
Between games, we have a number of interviews lined up. At around 12:20, we chat with DAHA Board President Brett Klosowski about the impact of Hockey Day Minnesota on the association.
Then around 12:30, we talk to former Duluth hockey star and UMD Bulldog Pat Francisco, who was instrumental in organizing the funding effort that led to construction of the Duluth Heritage Sports Center.
At 12:35, we talk to Dane Youngblom of the Duluth Fire Department, followed by Sgt. Ken Zwak of the Duluth Police Department, as we preview the Police vs Fire outdoor hockey game that will be played Saturday night.
Around 12:40, we visit with a representative of the Minnesota Wild and Fox Sports North, talking about the history of Hockey Day Minnesota, which is in its tenth year in 2016.
Then, before the Duluth East vs Lakeville North game at 1pm, we preview the game with Lakeville North coach Trent Eigner and Duluth East coach Mike Randolph.
After the first period of East-Lakeville North, we'll hear from Duluth East athletic director Shawn Roed. He'll discuss how this event came together for Duluth's high school hockey teams and preview his winter sports teams in upcoming playoffs.
Following the second period, we'll learn about the Duluth Area Special and Sled Hockey Program from Christian Koelling of DASSH, who is also director of hockey operations for the UMD men's program.
Hope you can join us.