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Duluth named host for Hockey Day Minnesota 2016

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Hockey Day Minnesota 2016 will be hosted by the City of Duluth on Feb. 6, 2016, with a pair of Duluth high schools helping ring in the spectacle with outdoor games in a popular park.

The Minnesota Wild, FOX Sports North and Wells Fargo made the announcement on Thursday.

An outdoor rink will be constructed at Bayfront Park near Lake Superior.

Playing on the rink will be host schools Duluth Denfeld and Duluth East. Denfeld will play Eveleth-Gilbert and East will have a rematch of last year's Class 2A state championship game against Lakeville North. Lakeville North defeated East to complete an undefeated season in 2014-15.

“When you’re considered for a game like this, you can at least take away that people have an appreciation for what you’re kids have done and the way they’ve competed on the ice,” said Trent Eigner, head coach at Lakeville North, per The North Star. “It’s a feather in the cap for your program.”

North is making its first appearance on Hockey Day while East is making its third.

"What a great way to show what Duluth is about -- a hearty community that embraces the outdoors," said Duluth Mayor Don Ness. "So many of us love the game of hockey and grew up playing at our local rinks on ice that our parents built. Our kids are still growing up that way -- it's a tradition."

FOX Sports North, per usual, will broadcast from rinks and arenas around the state beginning at 9 a.m. on Hockey Day. The coverage wraps up with the Minnesota Wild taking on the St. Louis Blues. Unfortunately, the game is in St. Louis, not St. Paul.

This is the tenth annual Hockey Day. Previous host sites include: Baudette Bay (2007, 2008), Phalen Park (2009), Hermantown (2010), Moorhead (2011), Minnetonka (2012), Grand Rapids (2013), Elk River (2014) and Saint Paul (2015).

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