On Tuesday, December 4, the Duluth Northern Stars hosted the Proctor-Hermantown Mirage on a night designated to celebrate the 25th anniversary of girls high school hockey in Minnesota. While the Stars came out on the short end of a 5-0 score on the ice, as an entertaining sporting event, the entire Duluth girls hockey program scored big!
To celebrate the evening, all of the Duluth Icebreakers girls hockey program, past and present. were offered free admission for the players, plus one parent. Most of the players took advantage of this offer. The youth teams formed a tunnel to cheer on the Northern Stars as they left the locker room to start the game and later, between the 1st & 2nd periods, the 10U teams from the Ice breakers and Proctor-Hermantown kept the fans entertained. Following the game, the players were treated to pizza, complements of Topper's Pizza, and cake & beverages, compliments of the Essentia Duluth Heritage Center (EDHC).
On hand for the celebration were coaches and players from the 1998-99 Duluth Dynamite team who hold the prestige of being the only girls team from Duluth to win a regional championship and earn a 4th place finish in the Minnesota High School Hockey girls state tournament. Following the singing of the National Anthem by Northern Stars Junior Forward Quinn Clark, Coaches Jack Shearer and Leigh Ann Viche dropped the ceremonial puck to start the game.
The Denfeld Pep Band was on hand for the game to add to the festivities and while there were only 389 fans on hand, the entire arena was "electrified" by the fan enthusiasm, giving a regularly-scheduled game a play-off atmosphere.
The game also served to promote one of the eight values posted on large banners hanging from the EDHC's exterior walls. The value theme for the night was DEDICATION, a value that has especially sustained the sport of girls hockey as it's strived to gain recognition in a sport that has been primarily dominated by boys. Each fan received a bag tag promoting DEDICATION, courtesy of maurices.