Former UMD captain Noah Cates back home w/ Flyers to face Wild

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Last March Noah Cates wrapped up his University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) men’s hockey career then three days later made his NHL debut with the Philadelphia Flyers at the Xcel Energy Center.

Thursday night the Stillwater native returned to his home state ice where he’s also played state high school and National Collegiate Hockey Conference (NCHC) tournaments.

“Obviously always special to play in this building when I was in high school or college or growing up, and then to now be in the NHL. Obviously coming off last year, my first game, and now my first NHL season being back here that will be super special and I’m really excited for the game,” Cates shared.

The former Bulldog captain said he expects about 50 of his own fans in St. Paul.

The 23-year-old is currently ninth on the Flyers in points with six goals and 13 assists in 49 games this season.

“Definitely think I’ve grown a lot in the first 50 or so games here, my first NHL season. Moved to center, kind of getting different responsibilities there. Team is kind of building something here so definitely something super happy to be a part of, that standard that we’re creating here and looking for a big win tonight.”

Cates scored the first goal of the game for the Flyers to lead the Wild 1-0 in the first period Thursday.