Posted by: Feldman
The Rochester Lourdes hockey team has played on statewide TV each of the past five seasons. The five-time defending Section 1A champions have even played in primetime a couple of times on the opening day of the state hockey tournament.
The Eagles will be on TV again this season, even if they don't reach state. This time it will be nearly two months in advance of the state tournament.
The announcement was made official on Wednesday: Rochester Lourdes will play Cloquet/Esko/Carlton at the "Handke Pit" in Elk River on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 10:15 a.m. as part of Hockey Day Minnesota '14. The game will be televised around the state and parts of neighboring states on FSN.
The Lourdes-CEC game will be the first game of the day, so viewership should be strong across the state with pumped-up hockey fans ready for a full day of live-televised games.
Other games set for HDM '14:
• 1 p.m.: Elk River vs. Stillwater — boys (at Elk River)
• 4 p.m.: Elk River vs. Anoka — girls (at Elk River; tape delayed on FSN after Minnesota Wild game)
• 5 p.m.: University of Minnesota vs. Ohio State (at Mariucci Arena)
• 8 p.m.: Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars (at Xcel Energy Center)
Lourdes coach Josh Spaniol said representatives from FSN and the Minnesota Wild approached him and Lourdes A.D. Marv Peters during last winter's Section 1A tournament, then plans were confirmed during the state tournament in March for Lourdes to be a part of HDM.
Lourdes had to drop a scheduled game against Duluth Marshall to accomodate the HDM schedule, but Spaniol said Marshall was very cooperative and the teams will meet again in future seasons.
The Wild, FSN, and Minnesota Hockey made the announcement official on Wednesday.
"The biggest thing for us is just having the opportunity to do this," Spaniol said, "to just play outside in the snow, the wind, whatever. It's not about winning or losing. It's just about enjoying the experience. I don't care if the wind is blowing 25, 50 mph, whatever, let's just enjoy the moment."
I'll have a story with more comments from Spaniol, and a note about a special uniform the Eagles will likely wear for the HDM game, in Thursday's P-B.