Hockey Day Minnesota festivities got underway Friday, Feb. 11, in Moorhead.
A player's banquet at Moorhead High School featured a pasta dinner for the teams, coaches and parents. Along with the dinner, the players were treated to speakers including FOX Sports North's Dick Bremer and Kevin Gorg as well as Bill Lechner, Carl Davis and Dave Morinville - head coaches of Hill-Murray, Wayzata and Moorhead respectively.
The speakers stressed the importance and significance of playing high school hockey in Minnesota and for the players to enjoy the moment.
Following the banquet, the players headed across the street to the Moorhead Sports Center for a varsity skills competition.
The players were tested in acceleration, top speed, stick handling, hardest shot and shootout.
Moorhead's took home three of the awards as Nic Oxton won the acceleration event, Ben Doda won top speed and Logan Ness prevailed in the shootout.
Hill-Murray's Jake Guentzel won the stick handling part of the competition and Travis Wood registered 86 mph for hardest shot honors.
All players enjoyed joking back and forth and shared several laughs in a fun way to kick off hockey festivities.
Hockey Day Minnesota action starts Saturday, Feb. 12, at 10 a.m. as Wayzata and Roseau faceoff in the first outdoor hockey game of the day.