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     If you've been among the many anxious to learn how the    Duluth East & Hermantown high school hockey programs might match up, you might want to be in Sill Arena on Friday, February 16 when the JUNIOR VARSITY TEAMS from these two teams tangle. The game is scheduled for 4 PM.
     This is a make-up game for both JV teams to replace their games lost when Denfeld elected not to have a JV team during this past season. Tickets are $7 for adults & $4 for students/seniors and will be on sale in the EDHC ticket office starting at 3:30 PM on Friday


     The Hunters celebrated their "Senior Night" on Friday, Feb. 9, with a 5-2  win over the North Shore Storm. 

Denfeld Hunter seniors and their families. From left to right: Izaak Smith, Luke Eilefson, Brady Bastyr, Joseph Lemker, Jacob Marciniak, Ian Dahl and Ben LaFont (Photo courtesy of LeAnn Jaksha)


     Recently, the graduating seniors from the Duluth Northern Stars and the Duluth East Hockey Greyhounds and their families were honored in ceremonies held during their games. (See photos below.) The 'Hounds "Senior Night" was held on January 30, during their game with Anoka  and the Northern Stars celebrated their "Senior Night" on February 2, during their final home game against Andover.
     The Stars and 'Hound photos were furnished courtesy of William Garnett

Duluth Northern Stars Class of 2018 and their families. The front row, from left to right: Anna Prusak, Abby Nash, Ana Kunst, Ella Ierino, Elizabeth Karakas, Sydney Schuman, Kira Johnson, Anna Meyer, Izzy Sutherland

East seniors & families. 1st row, L-R: "Super Fan" Sam Zeman, Cheerleader Emily Scinocca, Mgr. Dylan Crist, Zach Madill, Parker Kleive, Tom Higgins, Luke Lamaster, Ian Mageau, Porter Haney, Hunter Hren, Nick Lanigan, Austin Jouppi, Garrett Worth, Will Fis


     The Twin Ports Broomball Association invites  all who may be looking for a great way to have fun and get some exercise to join with them to play recreational broomball. No experience is necessary and equipment will be provided for those who need it.
     The group meets each Wednesday night from 10-11 PM in Sill Arena. For more information, visit their Facebook page at Twin Ports Broomball or call the EDHC business office (218-464-1711)


Beginning on Wednesday, January 3, you'll be able to participate in weekly free yoga sessions at the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center. (EDHC). For more information, please click on the "Programs/Camps" tab at the top of this page or call the EDHC Business Office for more details 

"Forver Young" video

During the launch of our Values Banners project, we presented this video to depict who we are and what we stand for. To watch the video, click on the title line above.


       Those who frequent the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center (EDHC) are very familiar with the Thomas B. Wheeler Collegiate Athlete's the place where photos are displayed of those who made the journey from one of Duluth's neighborhood outdoor ice rinks to play hockey at the college level and, for some, beyond. And now, it's time to expand the Wall.
     Construction of the new expansion is scheduled to start sometime during the first week in January,, thanks to a generous contribution by the Thomas B. Wheeler family. All of the masonry will be done by Donald Holm Construction, with Hunt Electric Company doing the illumination. The project is expected to be completed and ready for more photos by January 31.
    Over the past ten years, many of Duluth's hockey families have elected to place a photo of their "favorite" hockey player on the Wall. Sometimes it's a family member, sometimes a friend and sometimes it's a "fan's choice" of a player worthy of recognition. Not every player who's qualified has his/her picture on the Wall because having one's photo there is optional, and comes with some expense.
     Adjacent to the Wall is a listing of over 500 names of  who would be qualified to have their photos displayed on the Wall. These names were determined by members of the Heritage Committee who spent countless hours scouring through high school year books and programs from various college hockey teams throughout the country. Despite this diligent effort, there are likely many more who somehow managed to be overlooked.
      Current cost for framing, matting and installation of the photos is $200.  For complete information, please click on the "About Us" tab at the top of the page. 


Duluth Denfeld & Superior Spartan teams present the flag before the start of their game in the Perkin's Frenzy

There's no doubt that area hockey fans got their money's worth of entertainment during the 7th Annual Perkin's Frenzy as both games were decided by 3-2 scores.
     1,500 fans chose to see live action over the comfort of home and the My9 telecast , when they crowded into the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center (EDHC) to watch the Superior Spartans held off a determined Denfeld Hunter team 3-2. The Spartans got off to a 3-0 lead before the Hunters came back with the final two goals.
    In the nightcap, Duluth East scored first with an early goal during the first two minutes of play, with Duluth Marshall responding in the second period with two goals of their own, with the second goal coming with no time remaining.
      East tied the score with the only goal during the third period, taking the game into overtime to earn the win.


Herb & Barbara Fritch, sporting Nashville Predators jerseys, taking their seats among the crowd in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena

Herb & Barbara Fritch, sporting Nashville Predators jerseys, taking their seats among the crowd in Nashville's Bridgestone Arena

Nov. 16, 2017 (Media Release)

         Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation (Foundation) Chair Patrick Francisco announced today that the Foundation recently received a very generous gift of stock from the Herbert A. Fritch Family Foundation, having a value of $1.6 million dollars.  This gift came close on the heels of a $1 million dollar gift from an anonymous donor and these two gifts combined enabled the Foundation to acquire the remaining Duluth Heritage Sports Center (Center) construction debt from Alerus Bank.
     Throughout the years, the Foundation has used the contributions received to acquire portions of the Center’s construction debt from the conventional lenders who held it, gradually gaining the major portion of that debt.  With this recent acquisition, the Foundation will now be the sole holder of the Center’s construction debt.
     This change in mortgage holders doesn’t mean at the Center is “debt free”. There’s still the debt held by the Foundation that needs to be serviced. “It’s the Foundation’s plan to offer very favorable debt-service terms to the Center.” Francisco stated. “But we will be receiving some return in the form of interest payments so as to enable us to continue to provide assistance for youth from financially-challenged families to enable them to participate in sports and/or to further their education at the college level.”
     According to the Center’s President/CEO, Jerry DeMeo, the terms arranged with the Foundation are quite favorable. “This is truly a great time for the Center and for our entire community.” DeMeo said. “The interest schedule from the Foundation will not unduly burden our budget. We’re able to meet this obligation while still preserving capital to meet our future planned facility and equipment needs”.
     DeMeo also said that he and other members of the Center’s team are extremely grateful for this support. “We’re both honored and humbled by the trust shown in our ability to tend to the Center’s needs and to meet the expectations of our customers. To have so many caring, generous people like Herb and Barbara Fritch and the hundreds of others who came before them to turn the dreams of a great facility like the Center into reality is truly, truly amazing.”


     In last night's action (11/12) Team Poland bested Pabst Blue Ribbon and Stewart's-Tbonz defeated Champion's Bar by identical 5-2 scores. In the nightcap, Tavern on the Hill  took measure of the Independenst by a score of 14-5. 
      For the complete league schedule, with updated scores & standings, click on the "Programs/Camps" tab, then click "Hockey & Leagues".
     Although the season is underway, there's still room for two more teams on the schedule.  Interested?  Contact Shari (218-464-1711; ext. 206) ( for more details or click on Link below 


The EDHC now offers you the chance to buy ten (10) hours of ice at a price  of $100 each…a 25% discount from the regular  price of $135 per hr. Here’s how it works:

  1. The “Take Ten” program is available for any new reservation made for ice rentals to be used between Nov. 1, 2017 thru Mar. 31, 2018.
  2. The reservation must be for ten (10) hours of ice, to be used between 6-8 AM or between 10 PM-12 AM. All ten (10) hours must be paid for at the time the reservation is made. There are no refunds for any unused hours.
  3. All reservations will be made on a “first-come, first-served” basis
  4. Reservations for “Take Ten” hours may be made at any time by e-mail only. The reservation will be confirmed by e-mail and, once made, the reservation may not be cancelled.
  5. The “Take Ten” hours are transferable upon written request of the buyer.
  6. The “Take Ten” hours may also be used during prime time (after 8:00 AM and before 10:00 PM, subject to availability. Reservations for these times may only be made on the day of the rental and, once made, may not be cancelled.

 Stop by the EDHC Business Office today to make your reservation today e-mail Marge at or call her at (218) 464-1711; ext. 100


Team Upper Peninsula

     Team Upper Peninsula  gave up the first goal of the game but then scored 7 unanswered to defeated the Sudbury Nickel Capital Wolves by a score of 7-1, winning the 2017 Heritage Tier 1 Hockey Showcase championship.  Teddy Randell scored a hat trick while teammate  Dawson McKay added two goals for the champions.  The "Youpers" were 5-0 for the showcase.
     The Northern Wings shook off the effect of a 6-3 loss to Team Upper Peninsula in the playoffs to defeat the Thunder Bay Kings in the third place game by a 5-1 score. Forwards Porter Haney and Carter Sullivan scored two goals apiece in the win.
     The Consolation game was won by the Notre Dame Argos , shutting out Shattuck-St. Mary's 1-0.
     This marks the sixth year that the tournament has been held in Duluth. 



Denfeld Hockey Head Coach Dale Jago

     September 8, 2017
    It's now official! After several weeks of speculation among the local hockey community, Dale Jago, an assistant coach on the Duluth Marshall Hilltopper staff, will become the new head coach of the Denfeld boys hockey program. He succeeds Kevin Smalley, who left after last season to become the head coach for the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton Lumberjacks.
     Coach Jago was a standout defenseman at UMD, He was also a member of the Canadian National Hockey team and spent 10 years playing professional hockey abroad, retiring from the sport in 2000.
     We at the EDHC extend a hearty welcome to Coach Jago and his staff. We're looking forward to working with you for the seasons to come. 

The 1962 Longview Midget team takes its rightful place on the Heritage Wall Of Champions. The team almost had a national championship to its credit, finishing second in the national midget tournament


The Duluth Northern Stars in action against Mound-Westonka, with the team identification sign & bench sponsor's banner displayed.

     Thanks to a promotional investment by Whole Foods Co-op, Duluth's high school hockey teams now truly have a "home team" bench. When Duluth East played Minnetonka on Saturday, Jan, 7, the team's players bench displayed a sign that highlighted the school's name & logo. There is now a sign for each high school team that will be displayed behind the bench when the team is in action.
     Whole Foods Co-op recently became the sponsor for the signs to place special emphasis on having a home rink advantage"for the teams. While it's unlikely that anyone was confused as to which team was which, having the team's name on the bench is like  each team having its own identity. 
     "With three high school teams sharing the rink, it's always been challenging to have an individual identity for each one," commented EDHC's Community Relations Associate Ken Kolquist. "When the folks from Whole Foods Co-op selected us as a business promotional partner, they were attracted by the home team bench and helped us find a solution. We're very proud to have  the Whole Foods Co-op on board."


Youth from North Star Academy enjoy the ice in Sill Arena

     Recently, it seems as though ice skating has become a popular choice for both physical exercise and classroom diversion for elementary school students. 
     On November 23, the 1st grade class from Piedmont Elementary got the chance to don skates and burn off some energy. On December 19, approximately 300 youth from North Star Academy's grades K thru 2  took to the ice, many of them for the first time, followed on December 20 by the 3rd grade classes from Lester Park Elementary. 
     According to EDHC's Administrative Assistant Shari Olson, it's been a win-win situation for both the kids and the EDHC. The ice availability during the school day affords an economical opportunity for the kids, while enabling the schools to supplement their needs to provide more physical activities to their daily regimen. Ice skates  for those not having them are made available through cooperation with the City of Duluth Parks & Recreation Department. 
     For more information on how to schedule skating opportunities for elementary school children, contact Ken at 218-464-1711, ext. 104 or by e-mail at


A "First Timer" gets a skating assist from one of the 60 UMD athletes on hand for the party

       On Tuesday, December 6, over 150 youth & their familes from Laura MacArthur school and their K.E.Y Zone program gathered in Seitz Arena to interact with 60 men & women athletes from UMD, including UMD's mascot, Champ,  for a skating/pizza party.
        Volunteers from UMD's various athletic programs helped the kids lace up their skates and then aided the "first timers" to make their way around the ice. After skating, the entire group traveled over to the Clyde Iron Restaurant for pizza & refreshment. 
         The skating party was made possible through a collaboration of the City of Duluth Parks & Recreational Department, who provided the skates, and the Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation, who made the ice available. 
        Judging from the smiles on the faces of the youth, the adults and the athletes, it was a memorable event for all. 


    On Wednesday, Nov. 23, youth from the Piedmont Elementary Schools 1st grade got a break from the classroom for a new phy ed skating.
    For many of the kids, this was their first time on ice skates. They got this chance thanks to the efforts of both teachers and parents who wanted to put a new spin on keeping kids physically active.  The activity also included a surprise visit from UMD's mascot Champ who participated in the skating while affording many photo-ops. 
     Skates were furnished for those who didn't have them courtesy of the City of Duluth Parks & Recreation Department. The EDHC also chipped in, offering the ice free of charge.
     The kids thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity and it is expected that other schools may soon follow.

Sertie Scores Again!

 Duluth's most notable hockey player recently added another "trophy" to his collection...this time it's a world record!
     Mark Sertich, at the age of 93 years, 11 months and 27 days was recently acknowledged as the oldest hockey player ever  to play competitive hockey. Just 3 days prior to celebrating is 94th birthday, Sertie skated regular shifts with the Continental 75's,  a team that participated in the Snoopy's Senior World Hockey Tournament and by doing so, carved a niche in hockey history that may only be exceeded by Mark himself.
     Sertie appeared on national television during the outdoor hockey game between the Minnesota Wild and the Chicago Blackhawks. As a guest of the Wild, he was interviewed between periods by former Blackhawk Jeremy Roenick, who asked Mark why he wasn't playing golf like others many other senior former athletes. Sertie's response was that he had never played golf but "always intended to take up the sport when he was done playing hockey. He just hasn't got there yet!"
     Mark Sertich can usually be found 2 or 3 days a week participating in the 8 o'clock skate with those much younger than him. But, as the date for the 2016 Snoopy's tournament nears (July 17), he'll likely add a day or two to that schedule. 
     He wants to be in top skating form as he gets set to raise the age bar for hockey as a "life sport" even higher!