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Butch Curran (left) and Pat Francisco (right) enjoy some old time hockey talk with Elmer Schwartz (center)

     On Monday, July 28, 2014, the words “Hockey Heritage” had a special meeting as three former UMD Bulldog hockey players visited our facility.
     Shown in the accompanying photo, Irving (Butch) Curran, Elmer Schwartz and Pat Francisco took some time to reminisce about the “good old days” when they carved their permanent niche in Duluth’s hockey history. Elmer and his spouse, Sharon, were in town for the UMD Hockey reunion.
     Elmer Schwartz attended UMD during the team’s MIAC years (1955-58). He and teammate Harvey Flaman made the trip from Saskatchewan to play for then-head coach Connie Pleban. During his tenure, Schwartz set some UMD records which still exist today and may never be duplicated. He scored 5 goals in one period against Hamline University (1957) and recorded 7 assists in one game against Gustavus (1958). Schwartz was elected to the UMD Athletic Hall of Fame in 1993. 
    Butch Curran was a Duluth East grad who his youth hockey at Glen Avon. He played with the ‘Dogs from 1956-59. He amassed 61 points in 62 games during his career as the left wing on the Schwartz-Flaman line.  
     Pat Francisco was a Bulldog from 1963-67. The former Denfeld grad was a right wing on a high-scoring line which included Bruce McLeod on the left and Keith (Huffer) Christianson at center. This dynamic group led the WCHA in scoring during the 1966-67 season, the team’s first in the new home at the Duluth Entertainment & Convention Center. 
     Francisco is the Chair of the Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation, taking a lead role in the fundraising campaign to finance the Center 


     The Duluth Heritage Sports Center (DHSC) outpolled Mariucci Arena, gaining 53% of the popular vote during the second round of the online “Hockey Hotdish Tournament ‘s Barn Division. With this win, the DHSC becomes one of the final four arenas still in contention for the title of being the Minnesota ice arena that best represents the State of Hockey.
The DHSC will next take on Grand Rapids’ IRA Civic Center, while in the other bracket, voters will choose from the Eveleth Hippodrome and Roseau’s Memorial Arena.  The Hippodrome advanced  by receiving 63% of the vote over Thief River Fall’s Ralph Englestad Arena, while voters selected Roseau over the Warroad Gardens by a 68%-32% margin.

            Minnesota’s oldest hockey newspaper, Let’s Play Hockey, is hosting this event which offers 4 brackets…Beauty (players), Bench Boss (Coaches), Barn (Arenas) and Big Head (Mascots).  Voting in the Big Head (mascot) division is currently underway, with Duluth East’s Greyhound competing against Nordy, the Minnesota Wild mascot.
Voting in the Barn division will continue during the month of August, with the exact dates to be announced soon. Voting will again be online at www.letsplayhockey.com.  Click on the “Hockey Hotdish Tournament” and follow the prompts to the “Barn Bracket Round”. 


With the recent addition of two Canadian teams, the brackets are set for the 2014 Holiday Inn & Suites Hockey Showcase. Please click on the "Tournaments" tab at the left of this page for full details


     This fall, the DHSC will be the site for the “Little Wild” Learn-to –play hockey program. Through the combined efforts of the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Hockey, CCM, Total Hockey and Minnesota Wild player Charlie Coyle, the program will serve to introduce the game of ice hockey to children who have not participated in an organized hockey program before.
     Each participant will be outfitted from head to toe with Little Wild branded CCM equipment and receive four (4) hours of on-ice instruction for $100. To be eligible to participate, children must be no older than 8 or younger than 5 on August 1, 2014, and must not have previously been registered with a local Minnesota Hockey affiliate.
     Skating lessons are highly recommended before the start of the Little Wild Program. Little Wild participants should be able to skate the width of the ice without falling before they come to the first Little Wild clinic. For more information on skating lessons, please check out your local community education or rinks for classes. 
     Registration opens Tuesday, May 27.  Only 60 participants will be accepted and all must register on line at www.wild.com/littlewild. (no exceptions.)
      The four (4) practices will all be held on each Sunday during September, at 4:30 PM. The dates at the DHSC are September 7, September 14, September 21 & September 28      
     For additional information, please refer to the website: www.wild.com/littlewild.


     Alex Trapp, Duluth East High School Senior, is the recipient of a 2014 Hobey Baker High School Character Award. He was selected for this honor based on his outstanding individual performance on and off the ice
With the philosopy that “success starts with character” , this award is granted each year to honor high school hockey players who exemplify the Hobey Baker ideal that "Character Builds Excellence."     Candidates are nominated by their coaches, based on the following criteria:

  • Integrity and positive attitude
  • Coachability
  • Outstanding sportsmanship
  • Community spirit

     The Duluth Heritage Sports Center joins with his teammates, his school and the entire community to add our congratulations to Alex for this significant accomplishment. 


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