By Jerry DeMeo 06/18/2019, 8:00am CDT
When the teams take the ice for the 2019 Heritage Summer Hockey Classic, two stalwart supporters of the UMD men’s hockey program will be directing the game’s strategy from the benches. On one bench will be long time UMD hockey advocate and Duluth businessman John Goldfine and on the other, UMD Athletics Hall of Famer Dale “Hoagie” Haagenson. This marks the very first time these two have ever taken opposite views on the outcome of a hockey game.
The game will be played Monday, June 24 at 7 PM in the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center’s (EDHC) Sill Arena. All proceeds will benefit the Ray Peterson Heritage Fund.
“This will be a new experience for both Hoagie and John because they’re used to always pulling for the same team”, commented Jerry DeMeo, the EDHC’s president & CEO. “But these two hockey icons were selected as coaches because they exemplify the same spirit as the players…Iconic“giving back” to help kids in our area stay active in a positive manner.”
In addition to being a strong supporter of the UMD hockey programs, Goldfine was instrumental in forming the John Goldfine Leadership Institute, a program designed to support UMD’s student-athletes as they build on the skills and life-lessons learned through athletic completion. He was also an active supporter during the EDHC’s development phase.
Haagenson serves as UMD Men’s Hockey’s assistant equipment manager and inspirational leader. In addition to his Hall of Fame induction, “Hoagie” is a former recipient of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Noel Olson Volunteer of the Year (2010) and the Bruce Bennet Service Award for exceptional service and commitment to UMD athletics (2000). He holds the record for being the longest serving volunteer in UMD’s athletic history, entering his 39th year of service.
The talent these coaches will have available to them come from the ranks of professional, college and junior hockey players but they won’t know who’s on their rosters until just before game time. DeMeo said that this is the standard practice because some of the players still have NCAA eligibility
“”Compliance rules in college hockey have become more strict during recent times”, said DeMeo. “Even though we have no sponsorship for the game, we won’t announce team rosters until just before game time so as not to use any of the players to endorse the sale of tickets.”
Instead, DeMeo said the EDHC will again offer its unique money-back guarantee, meaning that he will gladly refund the price of admission to anyone who feels they didn’t get their money’s worth “It’s really a ‘sleeves from the vest’ offer.” he said. “We’ve made that guarantee over the past four years and not once did anyone request a refund. In fact, ticket sales for this year’s classic have been selling at a record pace as our local hockey fans are eager to see these prominent athletes back on the ice.””
Tickets are $10, with the entire proceeds going to benefit the Ray Peterson Heritage Fund. Any youth hockey player wearing a hockey jersey will be admitted free, when accompanied by a ticketed adult..
The Ray Peterson Heritage Fund was established in 2010, and since that time, has made nearly $15,000 available for youth hockey, youth soccer and scholarships for student athletes.