One day after a pair of outdoor games at TCF Bank Stadium became official, it is Minnesota high school hockey's time to shine outside.
The Minnesota Wild, along with Fox Sports North, announced Wednesday (September 4, 2013) the match-ups for the 2014 Hockey Day Minnesota celebration. The 8th annual event, which will take place on January 18th, 2014, showcases hockey of all levels. Fox Sports North will broadcast five games over 12 hours.
Previous Hockey Day Minnesota events were hosted by Baudette Bay (2007-08), St. Paul (2009), Hermantown (2010), Moorhead (2011),Lake Minnetonka/Excelsior (2012) and Grand Rapids (2013).
Three high school games are taking place outdoors in Elk River (a suburb 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis) at "The Handke Pit." Following that, the University of Minnesota and Ohio State University complete a two-game series at Mariucci Arena. Lastly, the Minnesota Wild host the previous NHL team to call the "State of Hockey" home in the Dallas Stars.
The full Hockey Day Minnesota schedule and match-ups are below:
High School Games
Rochester Lourdes vs. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton (boys) Handke Pit, Elk River 10:15 a.m.
Elk River vs. Stillwater (boys) Handke Pit, Elk River 1:00 p.m.
Elk River vs. Anoka (girls) Handke Pit, Elk River 4:00 p.m.*
Collegiate and Pro Games
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Ohio State Mariucci Arena 5:00 p.m.
Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars Xcel Energy Center 8:00 p.m.
Despite realignment, there is still only one of the five Minnesota D-1 college teams.
One thing I'm interested to see this year is how the event competes with the similarly named Hockey City Classic taking place the night before. High school teams playing outdoors for HDM has been an ongoing and fun tradition (-40 degree temperatures in Baudette are still fun). They overshadow the NHL and even college Hockey Day Minnesota games. Will there be too many outdoor games over the same weekend and overshadow high schoolers? Or will both work together and show the true spirit of
Christmas Minnesota hockey?
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Nathan Wells is a college hockey reporter for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate