by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
The Elk River hockey alumni game at Handke Pit drew about 50 players on Wednesday evening and probably a couple hundred fans. Teams were even vs. odd years, and the Evens won 11-9. Former Elk coaches Dave Bleyhl and Dave Hallgren were honorary coaches.
The alumni game was held in conjunction with Hockey Day in Minnesota, which Elk River is hosting Saturday, Jan. 18. Various games have been held at the outdoor rink all week.
“This rink is absolutely incredible,” said Matt Godlewski, 2005 graduate who played four years for Princeton and is now shooting for medical school. “Especially to have it here, where hockey means so much. It was great to play with the guys who we looked up to growing up, that won the (2001) state title.”
Godlewski found the ice “a little flaky, a little chippy, because it’s been so cold,” but figured warmer weather would make it “just about perfect by Saturday.”
Bruce Schmidt (1968) was the lone representative of the ‘60s.
“I told the guys, be easy on me, I just want to do one shift and skate around and see what I can do. And I almost had a breakaway!” Schmidt said. He was one of a dozen volunteers who assembled the rink in about six hours.