Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Sixth annual "Hockey Day Minnesota" will feature 3 high school games on Lake Minnetonka

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: June 2, 2011 - 2:57 PM

Good afternoon from beautiful Toronto, where the top prospects in the 2011 NHL Draft are about to be ushered in front of the media contingent.

Back in Minnesota, the Wild, Fox Sports North and Minnesota Hockey announced details for the 2012 Hockey Day Minnesota, which is scheduled for January 21. The host city is Excelsior and will feature, among other things, three outdoor high school games on Lake Minnetonka:

Minnetonka vs. Duluth East boys

Minnetonka vs. Hopkins girls

White Bear Lake vs. Grand Rapids boys

The daylong hockey extravaganza will also feature the Gophers playing Colorado College and a Wild game (opponent announced when the NHL schedule is released).

It'll be an awesome, awesome day with some very exhilarated athletes.

"We are all really excited to play an outdoor game on FSN," said Michael Prochno, who will be a senior defenseman for the Skippers next January. "We play pond hockey all of the time but not real games, so this will be really fun. It will be a great experience and a moment we will never forget."

(Full disclosure for the quote: Michael's a cousin of mine; his brother, Andrew, also played at Minnetonka, played this past season at Sioux Falls in the USHL and will be playing in the fall for St. Cloud State).

Here's the full release:

MINNESOTA WILD AND FOX SPORTS NORTH ANNOUNCE
SIXTH ANNUAL “HOCKEY DAY MINNESOTA”

City of Excelsior to Host Outdoor Games on Lake Minnetonka, January 21, 2012

SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The National Hockey League’s Minnesota Wild, in conjunction with FOX Sports North and Minnesota Hockey, announced today a cooperative effort to celebrate the Sixth Annual Hockey Day Minnesota with a full day of hockey programming, including five telecasts of games taking place at three separate locations. The event is presented by Wells Fargo and is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, January 21, 2012.

Hockey Day Minnesota 2012 on FOX Sports North will include a full day of local hockey-related programming designed as a celebration of the game from peewees to pros. Lake Minnetonka and the city of Excelsior will serve as the background for the three outdoor high school games featured in the Hockey Day Minnesota 2012 line-up.

Outdoor Games on Lake Minnetonka in Excelsior:
White Bear Lake vs. Grand Rapids (Boys)
Minnetonka vs. Duluth East (Boys)
Minnetonka vs. Hopkins (Girls)

Hockey Day Minnesota coverage will include a Minnesota Wild game from Xcel Energy Center, as well as the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers against Colorado College from Mariucci Arena. A complete list of games and programming schedule will be released at a later date.

Additional details and plans for Hockey Day Minnesota 2012 will be announced by FOX Sports North and the Minnesota Wild during a special event at Maynard’s in Excelsior, on Friday, July 8. FOX Sports North will host Twins Live pre and postgame shows onsite and introduce special guests and coaches associated with next year’s event. Details specific to the July 8 event as well as further announcements surrounding VIP events planned for Hockey Day Minnesota 2012 will be released at a later date.

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