Cross Town Face-off First Hockey Day Matchup [VIDEO]
ST. CLOUD -- The eyes of the State of Hockey will be focused on St. Cloud this weekend thanks to Hockey Day 2018. First up: St. Cloud Icebreakers Vs Sartell-Sauk Rapids Stormin' Sabres.
With all the attention surrounding Hockey Day, it can be tough for the young athletes to focus. Ensuring they do falls, in part on their coaches. Nick Thibault is the Icebreaker's Head Coach. He says' he's focusing his team on what they can control.
"Obviously it's going to be a bit of a pressure situation. I don't the girls have played with that much attention on them before, but if we can worry about playing our game, about what we can control I think we should find some success that night."
Icebreakers Goalie Emily Musielewicz shows that Thibault's team is as focused as their coach. She says you just have to forget about the bright lights.
"I think you pretty much just have to block that [the attention] out. That's how it is with hockey day, but you're there to play a game."
When it comes to playing in the elements, Forward Allie Cornelius says she just wants to be able to wear her preferred facemask.
"We played a game outside a few weeks ago, and it was freezing, and so my bubble froze so I had to bring out the cage. So I'm hoping it's warm enough for me to wear my bubble."
On the other side of the ice, Stormin' Sabres Head Coach Marty Anderson says he's making sure his team knows it's the same game when the puck drops, despite the bright lights.
"You have to be ok with the fact that everything is going to be a little different [because of hockey day] but once that puck drops, it's still going to be the same game."
Forwards Lizzy Minnerath and Brooke Walters say the only real difference for them is the fact they'll be playing outside.
"[Walters] Well it will be different because it's outside... [Minnerath] Other than that we're just going to play our own game."
Both teams are excited, and even "honored" to play on the Hockey Day stage. Giving them a chance to show their talent on a bigger scale than they'd normally be able to. The Hockey Day 2018 schedule breaks down like this:
Icebreakers vs Stormin' Sabres girls game at 5:00 p.m.
St. Cloud State University alumni game (Team Parrish vs Team Hedican) at 7:30 p.m.
St. Cloud vs St. Cloud Cathedral boys game at 10:00 a.m.
St. Cloud State vs Minnesota-Duluth women's game at 1:00 p.m.
Moorhead vs Centennial boys game at 4:30 p.m.
St. Cloud State vs Minnesota-State Mankato at 5:00 p.m. at Herb Brooks National Hockey Center
Wild vs Tampa Bay at 8:00 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center
The weather is supposed to be in the mid to upper 30's, and partly cloudy for Friday. If you can't make it to the game, you can hear the Icebreakers take on the Stormin' Sabres right here on AM1240 WJON.