Park girls hockey: Wild, KFAN shine spotlight on St. Paul ParkMinnesota sports celebrities helped shine a spotlight on St. Paul Park Monday – and did some good for the community in the process.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, South Washington County Bulletin
Minnesota sports celebrities helped shine a spotlight on St. Paul Park Monday – and did some good for the community in the process.
As part of the 2012 Minnesota Wild Road Tour, Wild players Charlie Coyle, Matt Kassian and Antti Laaksonen visited St. Paul Park and the popular KFAN radio Power Trip Morning Show — including former Minnesota Viking “The Superstar” Mike Morris — broadcasted live from the St. Paul Park American Legion Post 98.
“It’s really cool how the Wild came together with Park hockey,” said Anna Keys, a junior at Park and an All-Conference player for the Wolfpack. “It’s really different.”
Other celebrities involved with the event included Wild broadcasters Mike Greenlay and Anthony LaPanta, Wild Mascot Nordy and KFAN personalities Chris Hawkey and Cory Cove.
“This morning when we were getting ready we were listening to them on the radio and they were talking about all the stuff going on here,” said Brooke Strenke, a Park freshman hockey player. “That was pretty cool.”
In addition to the radio broadcast and autograph and photo opportunities, the event included a pancake breakfast and silent auction to help raise funds for the Park Girls Hockey Booster Club and refurbishment of St. Paul Park’s outdoor skating rink. St. Paul Park Mayor Keith Franke, a Minnesota Wild season ticket holder, led the way in putting together the event.
“It’s a really good idea,” said Park freshman hockey player Abby Kirsch. “I think a lot of people came because they wanted to see the Wild players and stuff.”
The St. Paul Park party kicked off the 2012 Minnesota Wild Road Tour, which will be making stops in 18 cities this summer throughout the state.
The tour culminates with the seventh annual Wild Summer Bash on Thursday, June 28, at the Guidant John Rose Oval in Roseville.
Coyle, Kassian, Laaksonen and Wild celebrities – including players Nate Prosser, Jason Zucker, Justin Falk, Chad Rau and Matt Cullen – will visit various cities throughout Minnesota as part of the Road Tour.
Along with St. Paul Park, the first leg of the tour will make stops in Winona, Rochester, Austin, Owatonna, Mankato and New Ulm. The second leg will start in Duluth, and continue in Eveleth, Grand Rapids, Brainerd, St. Cloud and Willmar. The final leg begins in International Falls, and then make stops in Warroad, Thief River Falls, Bemidji, Fargo/Moorhead and Detroit Lakes. Each tour stop includes a fundraising opportunity for local youth hockey associations, as well as autographs from Wild celebrities.
“It was cool to be able to work with the Wild,” Keys said. “It was a cool surprise to have everybody come to St. Paul Park.”
- Jon Avise contributed to this story
See additional photos in the June 27 issue of the Bulletin newspaper