Minnesota Wild Surprise Puts Marshall in the Spotlight
MARSHALL, M.N. — It was the surprise of a lifetime for young hockey players in Marshall, MN, Thursday night.
What was supposed to be just another night at the rink for Marshall and New Ulm/Sleepy Eye turned into an NHL experience.
“It’s a chance for them to have a great experience. We have Nordy here and the anthem singers. Everything that goes into a Wild game will go into this game,” says Keith Ballard Former Wild Defenseman.
This is the 3rd year of the Youth Hockey Spotlight games with the Minnesota Wild.
Former Wild Captain Wes Walz and Former Defenseman Keith Ballard are honorary coaches.
“Honestly it’s just about putting smiles on the kids’ faces. The fact that we can touch all kinds of different spots around the Twin Cities where hockey is is really important. It’s all we want to do,” says Walz.
This game is the biggest these 11 and 12 year olds have played in.
“Maybe that sparks the love a little bit more for these kids, and they can continue to pursue this,” says Ballard.
The players scored a new jersey and bag plus their names in the Minnesota logo. Something the parents won’t forget.
“For them to experience something like this once in a life time deal..Wes Walz just fist pumped my son on the bench that doesn’t happen ,” says Brad Meulebroeck of Marshall.
And neither will the players.
“It’s fun, they’re excited. I wouldn’t say nervous, but I think there’s more motivation to them when they see what this game entails,” says Ballard.
This game has put southwest Minnesota in the spotlight.
Almost 1,400 people were at the game, and it was a nail biter. Marshall ended up winning 4 to 3.