Let's Play Hockey. Three simple words every Minnesota hockey fan awaits. Those words are in effect this weekend as the Steele County Blades junior hockey club opens its season. The Blades play Friday, September 23 against the Blue Ox at Coon Rapids at 7 pm. Sunday, September 25 Steele County faces the Mullets at Augsburg in Minneapolis at 1 pm.

Steele County plays two more road games next weekend before opening their home schedule Friday, October 7 at Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna against Isanti to start a five-game stretch at home.

The Blades return four players from last season and have about five others with junior hockey experience. Coach Nick Adamek is looking for his senior leadership group to lead the young squad, "We're going to do this all together."

Veteran Anders Thorager (Stillwater, MN) is ready for the challenge, "More responsibility has been put on my shoulders. My time with older guys my first year taught me how to act when you're this age...You definitely have to realize that you're a role model to a lot of the younger kids watching...No matter where you are, if you Blades stuff on, people are watching you."

Thorager's father David is an Owatonna High School graduate, "It's cool to have that feeling, walking in here, knowing my dad played." Advice from his father includes "working hard, giving it your all, remembering that you only have a little bit of time (to play)."

Hear a full interview with Anders Thorage on the following link.

Anders Thorager

Peyton Inks (Topeka KS) is one of the rookies on the Blades. He has friends that have played in this league, "You've got to be smart when playing with these kind of guys. It's a lot different coming from Kansas City and Topeka. I think maturity is the biggest part about it. That comes on and off the ice."

Inks is getting to know his new teammates while adjusting to being away from home, "It's hard for them as much as it's hard for me. It's all for the best. I miss my dogs too though. I love my dogs."

Hear the full interview with Inks.

Peyton Inks

Inks says his interest in hockey was sparked by seeing The Mighty Ducks. He asked his dad to take him to a Topeka Roadrunners game, "That's when I fell in love with the game." He started skating when he was about five years old.

Adamek says the team is a "fun" and "eager" group, "I think the crew that we have is willing to put the work in to get everybody up to speed as quickly as possible."

Hockey Day Minnesota 2022, Mankato

Minnesota State University-Mankato hosted Hockey Day MN. The eight-day festival featured all levels from youth to Division I, including a junior game for the first time.

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