Up North: Denfeld PeeWee hockey hosts outdoor competitions at Duluth Heights rink

Local hockey players in the Northland are blessed this time of year with tons of outdoor rinks. So what better way to get together than all on one ice sheet.

As this past weekend Denfeld PeeWee hockey invited a few of their opponents in International Falls and Ely to the Duluth Heights outdoor rink.

Taking part in a skills competition and three on three, with more than 45 kids showing up.

“I don’t think other communities have as extensive of an outdoor network as Duluth does. Duluth kids grow up K through five on outdoor ice pretty much exclusively, so it’s a big treat for them,” said Co-Manager of Denfeld Peewee Hockey Chelsea Sparrow.

The event was used to provide some fun but also showcase the importance and continued support of community run centers like this.

“It’s something different and out of the norm. We’re blessed with a gorgeous day to play some really outside hockey, because this is kind of where it started, outside backyard hockey,” stated Kevin Niskala the Ely PeeWee coach.

“I get to hang out with friends, like Parker said, and I get to meet my goalie friends and other friends from other teams,” added Ely player Henrey Fetterer.

The skills completion before the games began consisted of breakaway challenges, passing games, accuracy shooting and even races around the rink.

With Violet Udovich from Ely beating not only all the girls, but also the boys with a time of 15.8 seconds.

“I’m usually one of the fastest on my team. I really like racing it just gives me confidence. I think it’s really fun,” said Udovich.

A fun event that those in attendance hope becomes a tradition in the coming years, for even more teams in the Northland.

“We’re really thankful they put this day together for us. Every now and then we’ll send the kids outside and play back home, but we don’t have a facility like this. I would love to see it grow and to be a part of it every year,” concluded Ashley Hall an International Falls hockey parent.