The title “Hockeytown USA” has been claimed by several cities throughout the country.
A quick Google search revealed Chicago, Detroit, Buffalo, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Boston, Philadelphia and Binghamton, N.Y., as the cities declaring ownership of this title.
The original “Hockeytown USA,” though, is located on the northern edge of Minnesota, a new sports documentary is advocating. “The Road Through Warroad: Hockeytown USA” airs Sunday night at 11 p.m. on NBC Sports.
“If you want to talk about hockey towns, the conversation ends with Warroad, Minn.,” a radio voice proclaims during the intro of the documentary’s extended trailer. “Seven Olympians, five NHL players and over 80 [NCAA Division 1] players. You cannot compete with those numbers. How is that even possible?”
Warroad is located six miles from the border of Canada and boasts a population of 1,778.
The small town proudly showcases its love for hockey on its buildings, water towers and homes. A sign when you enter town reads “Welcome to Warroad. Hockeytown U.S.A.” before listing the NHL and Olympic stars it has produced.
The list includes former NHL players Dave Christian, Alan Hangsleben and Henry Boucha. Current players T.J. Oshie and Brock Nelson call Warroad home. The town has also produced seven Olympians and the well-known Marvin hockey family. The documentary highlights that both U.S. gold-medal winning teams included a player from Warroad.
“It’s a passion and rich storied tradition,” said Jenny Slukynsky, the owner of a backyard hockey rink and mom of two sons committed to the sport. “Kids think it’s attainable and it’s been proven that it is.”
Warroad athletic director Steve Bengston said his students “see the T.J. Oshies, the Brock Nelsons, the Henry Bouchas, and I said, ‘At one point in time they were in the very seats that you are sitting in.”
Warroad high school girls’ hockey coach David Marvin said each of these stars are “just neighbors and friends that happened to win gold medals.”
The close-knit community bonds through hockey. Tim Slukynsky said “I hear people say there is more to life than hockey. Not in Warroad.”
The 30-minute documentary features the town’s past and present prominent hockey stars Gigi Marvin, Oshie and Boucha.
Check out the short trailer below and if you want a little more, watch an extended preview here.