Last game at dusk 0103_StaatsYesterday was Hockey Day in Minnesota; one day set aside to celebrate the sport of hockey in the State of Hockey.  It was celebrated with the return of the NHL and the Minnesota Wild’s game.  The University of Minnesota Golden Gophers played, high school teams across the state played (including some games held outside), and the US Pond Hockey Championship was ongoing too.  Six years ago the Pond Hockey Championship was started to celebrate the joy of hockey “the way nature intended” on a lake in Minneapolis.  The weather was mild on Friday and Saturday morning, but a front moved through Saturday afternoon with the temperatures plummeting from 37 to 11 degrees in a matter of hours, and the winds picked up until they were howling at 20+ mph.  No worries though…the games went on.  We wandered down to Lake Nokomis around 5:30pm to take in the energy and the excitement as the last games of the day were finishing just after dusk.  The sky was dark with the last blush of sunset on the far horizon, the lights were turned on for the hockey rinks on the lake, and the wind was blowing loose snow across the ice.  But all was right in Minnesota, and the cold was just another reason to revel in the winter weather and appreciate what is means to be in the State of Hockey.

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