Repeat after me, Gov-elect Mark Dayton: "Puck." "Puck." "Puck."

Dayton will need to practice the word because he will drop the first puck at the University of Minnesota-Duluth men's hockey game that will inaugurate Duluth's new $80 million ice arena on Dec. 30.

"Joining Governor-elect Dayton for the 7 p.m. ceremonial puck-drop will be UMD Chancellor Lynn Black and Duluth Mayor Don Ness.  Lt. Governor-elect Yvonne Prettner-Solon will also attend the game," UMD said in a release, forwarded by Dayton's team.

If he says any words about dropping the rubber object, his practice will come in handy, judging from outgoing Gov. Tim Pawlenty's experience in 2005.

From a Star Tribune piece about Pawlenty's puckiness:

Should Gov. Tim Pawlenty be watching his "p's" and "f's"?

Before Minnesota's biggest hockey crowd ever, the normally strait-laced governor accidentally blurted out an X-rated word that rhymes with " puck" in pregame ceremonies Wednesday for the Wild's season opener.

On Thursday, a sheepish Pawlenty apologized for what he described as "a genuine slip of the tongue" that was blasted over the Xcel Energy Center public address system and replayed - with strategic bleeps - on many Twin Cities radio and TV stations. The slip occurred as the governor was saying, "The time has come to drop the puck."

"I realized that as I was starting to say ` puck,' other sounds were coming out of my mouth," he said Thursday. "I changed it to `puck,' and if you don't bleep out the middle part and listen to the whole thing, I think that's clear.

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