Hockey Day Minnesota 2023 was another huge success on all fronts. Starting off with the helicopter flyover, the fireworks and the coverage of all the hockey games, it was truly an outstanding effort and each year it seems to get better, well done to those of you who put it all together.
The first game of the day was Stillwater and White Bear Lake girls high school hockey. Stillwater would score the first three goals over the host White Bear Lake. Hunter Reardon got it started followed by Brooke Nelson who scored 2 goals in two minutes. Elaina Hosfield would get one for White Bear Lake and Brooke Nelson would complete the first period Hatrick for Stillwater making it 4-1 after the first period. She would then add her fourth goal of the game halfway thru the second period and her Team-mate Josie Lank would add another for a 6-1 lead after 2. White Bear Lakes Amanda Smythe addd two goals for the Bears to cut the lead to 6-3 but Josie St. Martin and Hunter Reardon would squash any hope of a Hockey Day MN comeback, the final score was 8-3 Stillwater, they are now 18-4 and will play top ranked Gentry Academy tomorrow night. White Bear Lake is 8-15 and will host Centennial/Spring Lake Park February 2 at 7:00.
In the second televised hockey day Minnesota game it was Hermantown vs Mahtomedi, two top ranked class A teams once again. Hermantowns Josh Kauppinen would score just 3:13 into the game to give the Hawks a 1-0 lead. roughly 5 minutes later Patrick Egan would even things up for Mahtomedi, it was 1-1 after 1. Matthew Kauppinen would score 5 minutes into the second, (Josh and Matthew are brothers) followed by Kade Kohanski to make it 3-1 Hermantown. At the 13:40 mark of the 2nd period Cav Bruner would net his 5th goal of the season for Mahtomedi to make it 3-2 Hermantown after the second period. Kade Kohanski would add 2 more goals in the 3rd period to complete the Hockey Day MN hatrick and team-mate Wyatt Carlson would chip in the empty net goal to seal the win for Hermantown 6-3. The Hawks are now 15-2-1 and play Orono February 1 at 7:00. This will be a huge test for Orono as they try to tune things up for the playoffs. Mahtomedi is 11-6 and will play Hill-Murray tonight.
The third and final televised Minnesota High school hockey day Minnesota game was Hill-Murray vs White Bear Lake. This was a great game and one that I thought White Bear Lake could win but it was not to be. Boden Sampair got things started just a minute into the game for Hill-Murray and Aiden Welch would even things up just a minute later, after 1 it was 1-1. The second period saw no goals scored. St. Cloud State Huskie commit Nolan Roed would score about 10 minutes into the third period to give the host Bears a 2-1 lead until late in the third period when Brady Ingebritson would score for Hill-Murray to tie the game and head to overtime where he would also end the game just 2 minutes into the extra session. Hill Murray is now 8-8-1 and will play Mahtomedi tonight. White Bear Lake is 13-4 and will play a hot Champlin Park team tomorrow night.
One other game that caught our attention was Breckenridge/Wahpeton vs. Becker Big Lake. Breckenridge would get their first win since February 16 of 2021 when they beat Park Rapids 3-2. Jack Rittenour would get a short handed goal for the Blades to help his squad win 5-4. Congrats boys, important life lesson in this season, never give up!