Youth from the Boys & Girls Club and the DHSC Sports Camp eagerly await the start of a dodge ball game against the U. S Navy SEALS and sailors from the USS Minnesota during Navy Day at the DHSC. (9/12/14)
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After receiving great voting support from community and statewide supporters, the Duluth Heritage Sports Center (DHSC) has earned the bragging rights as the Minnesota arena that best represents the State of Hockey by out-polling the Roseau Memorial Arena by a margin of 69% -31%.
The DHSC was one of 16 arenas chosen by Let’s Play Hockey, Minnesota’s oldest hockey newspaper, using conventional tournament brackets to make this selection. The arenas were classified in the “Barn” bracket, while other brackets were used to select a player (Beauty), coach (Bench Boss), and team mascot (Big Head). In advancing from its 14th seeded slot to claim the title, the DHSC outpolled other noted icons such as #3 ranked Hibbing Memorial Arena, # 6 Mariucci Arena, #10 seed IRA Civic Center (Grand Rapids) and, finally the #4 seed Roseau Memorial Arena.
The Tournament voting continues this week in a semi-final round, pitting player against coach and arena against mascot. The winners of this round will face each other next week in the finals.
According to the DHSC’s president, Jerry DeMeo, voting for the DHSC came from a number of sources. “Thanks to great conventional and social media coverage, we had the support from almost the entire community and, indeed, from the entire state.” said DeMeo. “While we’re proud to be known as the “best” arena representing the State of Hockey, we’re even more proud and humbled to know that our supporters share the DHSC pride and took the time to punch their computer keys to let the entire state know that they think we’re the best!”
Pat Francisco, Chair of the Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation and one of the first pioneers in the DHSC project said that when this facility was first planned, it was intended to be representative of Duluth’s storied hockey history. “We wanted those who were either participants or just visitors to be able to ‘feel’ the sports history, just like they do when the visit some of the other historical arenas in Minnesota. The support we got throughout the “Barn” bracket voting against those arenas indicates we’ve captured the spirit!”
In other voting, Roseau’s Neal Broten outpolled Eveleth native John Mayasich in the “Beauty” bracket, while Minnesota hockey iconic coach Herb Brooks prevailed over Dave Palmquist, a noted pioneer in girl’s high school hockey. Broten & Brooks will face off in the semifinals.
In the “Big Head” bracket, UMD’s Bulldog Mascot “Champ” lost a close contest by 1 percentage point against “Bucky Beaver” from Bemidji State University. Bucky now faces the DHSC in the semi-final bracket.
DeMeo said he was unsure why the tournament continues now that the winner in each of the four brackets has been selected. “You’ll have to contact Let’s Play Hockey” for the answer to that question.” he commented. “We’re happy with the “Barn” bracket outcome.
Voting for the semi-finalists is now underway and will continue through this week. To cast your ballot, go online at www.letsplayhockey.com. Click on the “Hockey Hotdish Tournament” and then click on “Semifinals Bracket”.
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
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
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:
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.