The Steele County Blades junior hockey team will have competition on and off the ice for their home opener Friday, October 8. The Blades host the Rum River Mallards at 7 pm at the Four Seasons Centre in Owatonna. Across town the Owatonna High School football team holds its homecoming game.

After last season's limitations in hosting crowds, Friday might almost be a 'soft opening' knowing that many more home dates are yet to come this season for local hockey fans to fill the seats and cheer on the Blades.

Steele County is off to a 2-1 start on the season. Coach Nick Adamek (click on his interview below) says the Blades are a good team, but found out what happens when you don't play a strong game. They lost to the Minnesota Blue Ox last Saturday after beating the team Friday. The season opened on September 25 with a win at Rum River.

Check out the full schedule for Steele County here.

Forward/center Brady Rossbach (New Berlin, WI) is new to the Blades this season, but is a three-year veteran of junior hockey after playing with a team in Milwaukee. He says, "Honestly I love everything about juniors...You're treated like an adult. You're one of the big guys out there and everybody looks up to you. Everything's 'on you.' If you're not performing, that's 'on you.'"

Blades player Brady Rossbach

Defenseman Jackson Blough (St. Joseph, MI) says he committed to junior hockey after playing high school, "I wanted a little bit more. So I decided that juniors was going to be the route for me. I moved out to Minnesota." Blough said one of the hardest parts of being away from home was learning to cook. Hear more below.

Blades player Jackson Blough

Coach Adamek talks about the start of the season, the strength of the team, and the first-of-its-kind appearance coming this winter for junior hockey at Hockey Day Minnesota in Mankato.

Meet the full Blades' roster here.

Blades coach Nick Adamek

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