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Passion and technology collide

By staff reports, 03/16/10, 1:20PM CDT


An inside look at the website technology behind the MN Hockey Hub

From Albert Lea in the far south to International Falls on the northern border, the Minnesota Hockey Hub blankets the “State of Hockey” with its comprehensive coverage of the state’s 158 boys high school programs.
The “Hub” was created and is managed by the team at TST Media utilizing the advanced functionality of the SPORT NGIN platform. It houses real-time game scoring, league standings, statewide rankings, player statistics, team schedules and more.
The SPORT NGIN platform allows teams to enter their stats in real time and generates up-to-the-second statewide leaders in multiple statistical categories. It also provides teams with a tool to manage and track their choice of statistics, options that include plus/minus, blocked shots, hits and face-offs won and lost.

Real-time statistics game play-by-play events are entered and displayed via an application called SPORT NGIN LIVE.

Scoring functionality once reserved for professional leagues is now showcased on the Hub, which tracks statistics in real-time.

After scorers enter play actions rink-side, SPORT NGIN LIVE does the heavy lifting: updating the Hockey Hub with real-time game box scores, player statistics and league leaders. The latest league, season, team, player and game data is automatically loaded from the Hockey Hub into the SPORT NGIN LIVE application, saving Hub administrators hours time usually spent on pre-game setup and data entry.

Games can also be scored online or offline. SPORT NGIN LIVE utilizes "Smart-Sync Technology" to enable scoring with or without an internet connection. This season, some games were scored in the most remote locations (without internet access). SPORT NGIN LIVE synced data to the Hockey Hub as soon as an internet connection became available.

This season, hundreds of Minnesota high school hockey games were streamed live. Fans watched events from multiple games as they occurred and viewed play action locations on an interactive 3-D hockey rink heat map!

"It's been so exciting to see the reaction to 'the Hub' this season," said Carson Kipfer, TST Media COO, "People are truly in awe that high school hockey is being covered at such a professional level – with all of the online features thought to be reserved for the pros! It's reactions like these that are extremely rewarding for our design and development staff, as we continue to revolutionize online coverage of the sport of hockey in the state of Minnesota."
Teams have the option of managing and updating their unique pages on the Hub, using the site as a tool to post articles, video and photos, send e-mail blasts and act as a gathering spot for players, parents and fans.
Through its player profiles, in-depth “Spotlight Game” coverage, video features and highlights, photo galleries and multiple recruiting lists and rankings, the Hub showcases and promotes high school hockey in a state that routinely advances its players to the highest collegiate and professional levels.
"We believe that the MN Hockey Hub is the premier high school sports site in the country," said TST Media CEO, Justin Kaufenberg, "It is a unique combination of full-time editorial coverage and hard core statistical data. The site's emergence as the single aggregation point for all things MN High School Hockey has really excited players and fans. We're also very pleased about the additional exposure that this site is providing to the players. We are very proud to be receiving compliments from junior and college coaches who remark that this site has brought the fun back into recruiting high school hockey players."

Thanks to this combination of passion and technology, now scouts, recruiters, fans and former players anywhere in the world follow Minnesota boys high school hockey as if they were sitting in the bleachers.