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Hockey Day Minnesota is coming to Elk River’s famed Handke Pit.
Fox Sports North recently announced the site of its eighth annual celebration of all things hockey for 2014. Though the cable sports network broadcasts college and professional games as part of the day’s events, the outdoor high school hockey games serve as the centerpiece.
Two boys’ games and a girls’ game will be played at the Handke Pit. Times and teams will be finalized later.
Social media reaction to the announcement was swift among would-be players.
Sophomore forward Jake Jaremko wrote on Twitter, “Hockey day 2014 is going to be unreal #ThePit #Can’tWaitToPlayInIt.” Junior defenseman Blake Hillman tweeted, “Im so jacked!!!!!!!!! #HockeyDay14 #cantwait.”
Dedicated in 1925, the Handke Pit is a glacier-formed bowl stadium that will be set up for more than 2,000 seats. It has been the home for thousands of hockey players, including NHL players Paul Martin, Dan Hinote, Joel Otto and Nate Prosser. The venue also is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Elk River superintendent Mark Bezek, in a news release, called Handke Pit “the birthplace of Elk River Hockey.”
In this year’s Hockey Day Minnesota spotlight game, host Grand Rapids defeated Benilde-St. Margaret’s on the frozen waters of cold and windy Pokegama Lake.
David La Vaque • 612-673-7574