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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Fox Sports North's Hockey Day Minnesota lineup for Saturday

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: January 16, 2014 - 11:57 AM


FOX Sports North, in conjunction with the Minnesota Wild and Wells Fargo, today announced details for the eighth annual Hockey Day Minnesota event taking place this Saturday, January 18. The day will feature more than 16 hours of original hockey-related programming. The complete television schedule can be found below.
 
The telecast event begins at 9:00 a.m. with a look at the rich history and tradition of the Handke Pit, followed by previews of the heart-warming and inspirational hockey stories that will be highlighted throughout the day.  A list of features can be found below.

The regional sports network will have a full team of on-air talent reporting throughout the day, including Tom Chorske, Ben Clymer, Marney Gellner, Mike Greenlay, Kevin Gorg, Casey Hankinson, Tom Hanneman, Anthony Lapanta, Doug McLeod, Wes Walz, and Doug Woog. Viewers will also see a few familiar faces from last year, including Brendan Burke (play-by-play for high school games) and Sophia Minnaert (sideline reporter for high school games). The broadcast team will receive exposure across the region, as well as across the US with select coverage set to air on FOX Sports 2.
 
Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 Highlights:
Fans can engage in a brand new social media experience this year with the opportunity to be part of the telecast via text and photo submissions collected using #HDM2014. The custom “squeeze back” social screen on FOX Sports North PLUS will begin at 9:00am. In addition, fans can win great prizes throughout the day from the Wild and FOX Sports North, like merchandise, game tickets and a TV truck experience, by using #HDM2014 on Twitter. The Wild will drive the conversation from @mnwild with several #stateofhockey related questions. FOX Sports North PLUS channel listings: Click Here
 
The State of Hockey Legacy Award, first presented as a part of Hockey Day 2010, will be presented to Lou Nanne, the Minnesota hockey legend who this year celebrates calling his 50th high school state tournament. Nanne starred for the University of Minnesota, the 1968 United States Olympic team and the Minnesota North Stars. Off the ice, he helped manage numerous United States National teams, and was the face of the North Stars as General Manager and President. Prior Legacy Award winners include Lou Cotroneo, Neal Broten and Glen Sonmor.
 
For the first time, FOX Sports North will incorporate an exclusive Hockey Day Minnesota theme song throughout the broadcast. “Winter Love” by Bracher Brown, which was previewed earlier in January by Paul Fletcher on Cities 97, will air throughout the day along with highlight clips and unique content. The track can be purchased on iTunes.
 
Another new element, FOX Sports North will debut a winter “Fan Express” bus on Hockey Day Minnesota. The fully wrapped 55-seat luxury charter bus featuring FOX Sports branding and Minnesota hometown winter sports teams will serve as a shuttle for fans attending the outdoor events in Elk River.
 
Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 Features:
 

The Handke Pit: A one-of-a-kind outdoor rink in Elk River, Minn., the Norman Rockwell-like site was formed by glaciers, and the natural bowl ‘pit’ is on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been in continuous use as a winter rink since the 1920’s, and features extensive stonework and a stone warming house dating back to the New Deal.

Pine City: Brain cancer took Beau Berglund at the age of 25. The hockey fanatic’s funeral was held at a hockey rink in Pine City, Minn. His memory lives on through an annual outdoor charity tournament in Pine City on Hockey Day.

Andrew Qualy: A Shakopee native and avid hockey player, Qualy joined the Army in 2013. While serving in Iraq, he was wounded in action and suffered a broken skull and shattered leg. Now back in Minnesota, the Minnesota Warriors hockey team plays an important role in his rehab, both mentally and physically.

Paul Martin: The Elk River, Minn. native and current Pittsburgh Penguin is arguably the best hockey player the community has produced. Martin gives us a personal tour of his hometown and reflects on his hockey memories.

The Reilly Family: Three brothers, Conner, Ryan and Mike, all currently play hockey for the Golden Gophers, following in their dad’s footsteps.

Special Olympics Poly-Hockey: A heart-warming story about the Burns family from Owatonna and a reminder that hockey is for everyone. Learn more about poly-hockey, a sport only offered by Special Olympics in the states of Minnesota and Michigan.

 
A “FOX Sports Supports” partner, Special Olympics Minnesota will be honored as an important community partner on Hockey Day Minnesota. The not-for-profit organization will officially kick off their Polar Plunge season at Lake Nokomis (the site of the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships) with the support of FOX Sports and FOX Sports North.
 
The Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 schedule is as follows:
 
10:00 a.m.             Rochester Lourdes vs. Cloquet/Esko/Carlton Handke Pit, Elk River         FSNorth/ PLUS, FS2/FSGo               
1:30 p.m.               Elk River vs. Stillwater                                         Handke Pit, Elk River         FSNorth/ PLUS, FS2/ FSGo
5:00 p.m.               University of Minnesota vs. Ohio State             Mariucci Arena                   FSNorth/PLUS, FS2/ FSGo, BTN2Go
8:00 p.m.               Minnesota Wild vs. Dallas Stars                         Xcel Energy Center           FSNorth/PLUS
*11:00 p.m.           Elk River vs. Anoka (girls)                                    Handke Pit, Elk River        FSNorth/PLUS, FS2, FSGo
*Delayed Broadcast
 
Hockey Day Minnesota 2014 on FOX Sports North will be the eighth annual celebration of hockey from peewees to pros. Previous sites for outdoor games include Baudette Bay (2007-08), St. Paul (2009), Hermantown (2010), Moorhead (2011), Lake Minnetonka/Excelsior (2012) and Grand Rapids (2013).

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