May 1, 2018
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild, in partnership with Hy-Vee, Inc., Minnesota Hockey, CCM, Pure Hockey, NHL, and NHLPA announced today that registration for the 2018 Little Wild Learn To Play Program will open at 10 a.m. CT on Monday, May 21 at www.wild.com/littlewild. In its fifth season, the 2018 Little Wild Learn To Play Program will expand to 20 locations across the State of Hockey. The program helped Minnesota Hockey establish a new state and national record for 8U players (18,839) during the 2017-18 season. The Essentia Duluth Heritage Center has once again been chosen as the local site for the program, which takes place in September, starting on Sunday 9/9 and continuing each Sunday through 9/30. The time for each session is 3-4 PM. Dates for equipment pre-fitting will be announced in the near future.
The Little Wild program, presented by Hy-Vee, is for first-time boys and girls hockey players. Eligible participants must be between the ages of 5-8 as of Sept. 1, 2018. Previous Little Wild participants and children who have played organized hockey are ineligible to participate. Those in violation of this rule will not be able to participate and their registration fees will not be refunded.
For $125, participants will receive four, one-hour on-ice sessions led by the Minnesota Hockey American Development Model team, a full set of CCM hockey equipment, and a free ticket to a Minnesota Wild pre-season home game. Kids who do not have skating experience are encouraged to take skating lessons prior to their first Little Wild on-ice session. Keith Ballard will continue as the NHL alumni Learn to Play Local Manager. He will assist with on-ice instruction and provide guidance for first-time hockey parents at as many locations as possible.
The Minnesota Wild will host the first-ever Little Wild Graduation Ceremony at Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018. Following the graduation ceremony, all Little Wild participants can attend a Minnesota Wild pre-season game at Xcel Energy Center as part of Kids Day presented by U.S. Bank. All Little Wild participants who attend the graduation ceremony will receive a free ticket to the game. Participants may purchase up to two additional tickets.
Mark Sertich, at the age of 95, was declared bu the Guiness World Book of Records to be the world's "oldest" hockey player. Recently, the Guiness folks had to add another year to that record. For more information, click on the "News" tab.
2017 Heritage Classic Champion Team Upper Peninsula
The 2018 Holiday Inn Heritage Hockey Classic will be held on October 26-28. This will be the seventh year for this event, hosting top Tier 1 teams in the 16U & 18U classifications from both the USA & Canada. For more information, go to the "Tournaments" tab.
March 16, 2018
Recently, Duluth Heritage Sports Center Foundation Chair Pat Francisco sent us the following e-mail. Please take a moment to click on the link below to see what's being said about our city and, in particular, Clyde Park!
Dear Team Members,
Alert reader and Essentia Duluth Heritage Sports Center friend, Fred Hafferty, forwarded this story in The Atlantic.In the story, the writer makes the case for regionalized economic growth.
You’ll see that Duluth is highlighted and that the Center was mentioned as a catalyst and initiator of that growth.
I hope you feel good about your key role in that effort and I hope you remain supportive of the continuing mission to grow our children and community.
Those who frequent the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center (EDHC) are very familiar with the Thomas B. Wheeler Collegiate Athlete Wall...it'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.
The Duluth East Greyhounds finished off their 2017-18 season taking 2nd place in the Minnesota State High School Hockey Tournament, with a 5-2 loss to the top-ranked Minnetonka Skippers.
Anyone watching the final game would agree that both teams played very well and, if the nets were just one inch bigger, the outcome would have been different.
The EDHC offers congratulations to the entire team and coaching staff for providing us with some great performances during this past season. We're already looking forward to next year!
Laila Scott recently joined our EDHC team as the Lead Building Maintenance Associate. She replaces Connie Bloom, who retired on February 2. Laila brings a wealth of custodial experience with her, having previously served with the New London Group, owners of Black Woods restaurants, Black Water Lounge and the Greysolon Ball Room. We're very pleased to have her on our team!
Congratulations to the Duluth Denfeld Hunters and Coach Dale Jago for finishing the 2017-18 season in an exciting fashion, winning their last five regular season games and taking I-Falls into two overtimes before bowing out with a 3-2 final score.
With a strong group of youth players in the wings, we can't wait to see what the 2018-19 season brings for Hunters Hockey.
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
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.”
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
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 Kkolquist@essentiaduluthheritagecenter.com
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 experience...ice 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.
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!