Posted at: 01/22/2013 6:12 PM
Updated at: 01/23/2013 10:55 PM
By: Laura Kennedy
There's something very Minnesotan about skates gliding over a frozen lake. For the past seven years, that tradition has been celebrated in the form of Hockey Day Minnesota. This year, the event came to Grand Rapids. And the fans came out in droves.
For Carol Lee of Hibbing, Hockey Day brings a sense of nostalgia.
"It actually reminds me of the old fashioned way hockey used to be played when I was younger," she said. "I just think it's fun. Everybody is enjoying themselves. There's concession stands, places to warm up, it's just a fun place to be out."
Carol and her husband, Terry, made the trip to watch their grandson take the ice against Eagan.
"We've been chasing hockey since my grandson was a white mite," Terry said. "Now he's a senior on the Hibbing High School team. It's been a long haul."
Collin Shinabargar and Kirk Watson put on their orange and black to support the hometown team, who beat Benilde St. Margaret's in overtime.
"I got the school spirit award in high school, so I had to come out and cheer them on and show my support," Watson said.
And no amount of wind or cold was going to keep them, or hundreds of other fans, away.
"It's just fantastic. It's fun with the weather," Shinabargar said. "I mean yeah, it's cold, but it's a once in a lifetime thing."
"I would have been out here if it was raining," Watson said. "Freezing rain I would have probably been out here."
"Minnesota people are tough," Carol said. "Regardless of where you come from, I just think we're tough people and we can weather this cold miserable day."
Hockey Day will move on to another community next year, but memories of this day will stay with the Grand Rapids community for a long time.