The Ice Bucket Challenge has taken off virally, raising awareness and funds for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord.
It was only a matter of time before the challenge reached the Sate of Hockey and the Minnesota Wild. Hockey, after all, is played on ice.
Nordy Wild got into the action last night, accepting the challenge from FOX Sports North Color Commentator Mike Greenlay. Along with the ice shower, he presented a check for $1,000 to the ALS Association of Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. Check out Nordy’s video, along with Greenlay’s, and Wild players Zach Parise, Josh Harding, Jason Zucker, and FOX Sports North Play-by-Play Announcer Anthony Lapanta and Studio Analyst Wes Walz. Yes, the Lighthouse gets called out by the Pioneer Press’s Chad Graff and will be iced out later this afternoon.
Graff (Notice how there's no ice in his bucket. We call shenanigans!):
Wild 2014 first-round draft pick, Alex Tuch, netted a hat trick at the U.S. National Junior Evaluation Camp against Sweden. Tuch led the U.S. to a 7-1 win against the Swedes.
The camp is a weeklong mix of games and practices between the U.S., the Czech Republic, Finland and Sweden at the Lake Placid Olympic Center’s USA Rink. The U.S. plays Finland at 3 p.m. State of Hockey Time today and finishes the camp against the Czech Republic on Saturday, Aug. 9. Full schedule of events can be found, here.
The US Hockey Hall of Fame has announced its 2014 class, which includes Saint Paul native Jeff Sauer. Also in this year’s class is Karyn Bye Dietz, Brian Rafalski and Lou Vairo. For the full story, click here.
From the USAHockey.com statement:
Jeff Sauer, who grew up in Saint Paul, Minn., and now calls Middleton, Wis., home, has spent more than 40 years coaching hockey, and has had nothing but success in his varied endeavors. Sauer’s 31-year NCAA Division I men’s college coaching career featured 655 wins (seventh all-time) and two national championships, both of which came at the University of Wisconsin (1983, 1990). Sauer led Wisconsin to three NCAA Men's Frozen Four appearances, 12 NCAA tournament berths, six Western Collegiate Hockey Association playoff titles and two WCHA regular-season crowns in 20 seasons (1982-2002). He also spent 11 years (1971-82) as head coach of the men's ice hockey team at his alma mater, Colorado College, where he was twice named WCHA Coach of the Year (1972, 1975). Throughout his college career, he served as head coach for multiple U.S. squads, including the 1995 U.S. Men’s National Team and U.S. teams that participated in the 1990 Goodwill Games, 1989 Pravada Cup and 1997 Tampere Cup. The 2014-15 season is Sauer’s fourth campaign as head coach of the U.S. National Sled Hockey Team. He led the U.S. to the gold medal at the 2012 International Paralympic Committee Ice Sledge Hockey World Championship. Two years later, he was at the helm of the gold-medal winning 2014 U.S. Paralympic Sled Hockey Team in Sochi, Russia. Additionally, Sauer is president of the American Hearing Impaired Hockey Association. He helped select the last five U.S. Deaflympic Ice Hockey Teams, while leading the team as head coach in the last three Winter Deaflympics, including a gold medal at the 2007 Deaflympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. Sauer has been honored with USA Hockey’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2000), the American Hockey Coaches Association’s John “Snooks” Kelly Founders Award (2004) and the NHL’s Lester Patrick Trophy (2011). He has also been inducted into the Wisconsin Hockey Hall of Fame, Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame, the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame and the Colorado College Athletic Hall of Fame.
The Minnesota Wild will face the defending Stanley Cup Champion, Los Angeles Kings, for the first time on Sunday, Oct. 19 at STAPLES Center. The game, originally scheduled for 3 p.m. State of Hockey Time, is now set to start at 2 p.m. CST.
Minnesota earned the name, State of Hockey, because the sport is embraced at all levels throughout the state, including PowerHockey, which is an aggressive sport played in a power wheelchair using a ball rather than a puck.
The PowerHockey Cup, which features some of the best wheelchair hockey players in North America, is coming to The Legendary Roy Wilkins Auditorium in Saint Paul July 21-24. The event is free and open to the public. The PowerHockey Cup is a bi-annual event that allows the athletes to compete against the best wheelchair hockey teams in the country. The two-time champion Minnesota Saints will look to defend their title against seven teams from North Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Canada as well as in-state competitor Minnesota Selects.
PowerHockey’s mission is to provide a quality hockey program for persons requiring the use of an electric (power) wheelchair in daily life. Learn more about PowerHockey, here.
Social media can be a great way to connect players, an organization and their fans. It can also get a young prospect in a lot of hot water with an ill-advised post or comment.
If you can’t make it to Xcel Energy Center on Monday to watch the Wild’s top prospects in action, Wild.com will have you covered. The club’s official website will carry a live stream of the Green vs. White scrimmage between prospects at 6:30 p.m. Monday, July 14.
Next week, Target Field in Minneapolis will host Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Get primed for the Midsummer Classic with the Ninth Annual Celebrity Sweat Softball Challenge, noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12 at Saint Paul’s Midway Stadium. The event will feature a number of NHLers with Wild and State of Hockey ties.
After conducting off-ice testing yesterday, Minnesota Wild Development Camp was in full stride today. The camp blends on-ice practices with off-ice classes and training sessions, helping the organization’s top prospects learn what it takes to become an everyday NHLer.
The Minnesota Wild has signed forward Joel Rechlicz to a one-year, two-way contract.
Last season, the 27-year-old skated for the Hershey Bears, the Washington Capitals’ American Hockey League affiliate. In 25 games he scored a goal and added an assists to go along with 87 penalty minutes.
Nicknamed “The Wrecker” for his physical play, the Brookfield Wis., native has appeared in 26 NHL games with the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals, racking up 105 PIM.