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May 26, 2017
    While most kids are still in the final days of the 2016-17 school year,  members of Essentia Health's Community Relations staff are in the final stages of planning for the "Passport to Adventure"...a community-wide celebration for healthy, active kids and their families. The event is scheduled for the Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center on Wednesday, June 28, starting at 4:30 PM and is free and open to the public.
     For more information, click on "More +", then "Special Events" for additional information. 


May 26, 2017
     With the July 1 registration date still more than a month away, the 18U classification for the Heritage Tier 1 Boys Hockey Showcase has only two openings remaining to fill the 8 team bracket. There are still 5 slots left in the 16U classification.
     Please click on the "Tournaments" tab for more information on the event.


     May 26, 2017
     On Monday, June 26, the ice in Sill Arena will again take on a special glow as 40 of the area's best hockey players will take to the ice for the 5th annual Heritage Summer Hockey Classic.  This  event is held for the benefit of  the Ray Peterson Legacy Fund which helps aspiring youth athletes from financially challenged families be able to participate in the sport of hockey.
      Both team rosters consist of current & former players from the professional, college and junior hockey ranks and, because many of them have remaining NCAA eligibility that might be compromised if their names are used for commercial exploitation, the final rosters for both teams remain secret until 1 hour before game time.  Players are placed equally on both teams through a draft system that was established by the players last season when Team Bordson, led by former Denfeld & UMD star Rob Bordson defeated Team Krause, captained by Adam Krause of both Hermantown and UMD fame, in double overtime by a 3-2 score.
     The coaches for both teams will also be kept secret so that the players won't know who their bench boss will be until game time. 
     Tickets will go on sale Monday, June 12. Prices are $10 for adults & $5 for students. Any youth wearing a hockey jersey and accompanied by an adult will be admitted free of charge.  


 The 2017 North American Hockey League (NAHL)Robertson Cup event, held at the EDHC  May 11-14, was by most metrics, a very successful event.  Initially, the NAHL was concerned about holding their national championship at a site not noted for its easy and cost-effective "transportation" but a visit to the city in October, 2016, quickly convinced NAHL president & commissioner Mark Frankenfeld that, despite the access deficiencies, Duluth had the "right stuff" to serve the league's needs  to host the Cup.
     While we at the EDHC were very proud that our facility was chosen as the site for the Cup, we know the event could not have happened without the generous support of a broad spectrum of our community-minded leaders in the hospitality industry. For example:

   VisitDuluth  planned a vital role in helping the NAHL secure lodging and provided financial enticement to compensate for the some of the expenses associated with locating the event away from a community with major airline service.
     The Holiday Inn & Suites - Downtown Waterfront provided an excellent accommodations for meetings,  lodging and food that was consistent with the NAHL's budget.
     Stewart-Taylor Printing was selected as the official printer for all of the NAHL's needs for banners, programs and other materials and was responsive to all of their printing and sign needs, despite several last minute changes and additions...a service that might not have been so readily available in larger metropolitan areas.
     Hospitality for visiting college & professional scouts, VIPs and media was provided throughout the four day event. Dinner was served daily courtesy of the Duluth Grill, Black Woods and Clyde Iron Restaurant, while snacks & beverages were available all day long through donations from Bernick's Beverages, Frito-Lay, Super One and Upper Lakes Foods, all served on tableware supplied by Twin Ports Paper. Krenzen Auto Company provided the use of courtesy cars for NAHL VIPs to help offset the need for car rentals for those flying into the Twin Cities. Thanks to Krenzen, they all made the trip in one van, using courtesy cars for transportation while in Duluth. 
     The hockey games themselves were very competitive and highly entertaining. Three of the six games played were decided in overtime. Two others had scores which included open-net goals being scored within the last two minutes of the game.  
     The only area that didn't measure us to expectations was the crowd, especially during the Championship game  when only 300 fans gathered to watch the Lone Star Brahmas (Texas) and the Aston Rebels (Pennsylvania).  But, considering that the game was played on Mothers Day and during the opening weekend of fishing, maybe having attracted 300 to watch two teams from out of the area would have to be considered another "win" for Duluth.
     At any rate, the measure is always based on customer satisfaction and, despite the small crowd,  the NAHL was satisfied...and invited us to submit a proposal for both the 2018 & 2019 Robertson Cup events.
     Stay tuned for more information!


     May 15, 2017

     Ken Kolquist, EDHC's Community Relations Associate , has left us to accept a position with the management team of a local engineering consulting firm. His new opportunity will enable Ken to better utilize his education and his experience.  he will continue is association with the Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation in a volunteer capacity.
     Ken joined the EDHC team in April, 2016 and has been actively involved in planning our programs and establishing relationships with those who use our facilities for promotion. His last activity with us was the NAHL Robertson Cup, which concluded on May 14.
       We'll miss Ken's "can-do" attitude and wish him and his family the best as he begins his new career. 


  May 15. 2017

    The Lone Star Brahmas are the 2017 Robertson Cup champion, with a 3-0 win over the Aston Rebels on Sunday, May 14 in the EDHC's Sill Arena. After the first period ended 0-0. the Brahmas scored a goal in the second and one in the third for a 2-0 lead. The final goal was scored into an open net to clinch the win.
     The Rebels were playing in their 4th straight game. They needed an overtime win over the Aberdeen Wings on  Saturday to gain the championship game. 

      In all, this year's Robertson Cup was filled with competitive action.  In the first round, Aston bested the Wings 4-2, with an empty-net goal. Lone Star needed overtime to beat the Janesville Jets 3-2.
     During second round action, the Wings came on with a strong performance to tie their series with Aston , winning the game 3-2, while the Brahmas clinched their spot in the championship game with a 3-1 win over the Jets, with the last goal being an empty -netter. 
      For the latest updates on all NAHL action, including the draft information, please log on to:


     Stewart's/TBonz continued their winning ways by defeating Beacon's Bar 6-5 to win the league's playoff championship. "StewBonz" also won the league's regular season championship with a record of 14-1. Crisper's Bar won the consolation championship with a 5-2 win over Pabst Blue Ribbon.
    For photos and additional information, please go to  "Programs/Camps", then to "Hockey & Leagues".


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


Tom Kowalik (left) and Tom Francisco check out the performance of the new Zamboni electric ice edger.

   The EDHC recently took delivery of a new Zamboni Electric Ice Edger Model EZIII, which will replace the gasoline powered edger currently in use.  With the elimination of the carbon emission that result from gas burning machines, EDHC ice maintenance crews will be able to regularly remove the ice build-up along the edges of the rink, without waiting until the building is empty.  The new edger also has eight carbon blades, twice as many as the current edger, to provide a smoother edge along the dasher boards , while only taking half the time to do the job.
    In addition to the improved ice quality, the elimination of carbon emissions will also enhance the air quality as well.
     The purchase of the new ice edger was made available through funds  received from the James Metzen Might Ducks Grant Program, administered by the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission. In addition to the ice edger, other air quality enhancement improvements  will be forthcoming, also funded by the grant. 


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!