Hockey Day Minnesota Takes Center Stage in Downtown Stillwater

Outdoor hockey will take center stage along the banks of the St. Croix River this weekend in downtown Stillwater.

Unseasonably warm temperatures — and a forecasted rain shower — have temporarily closed the Stillwater Ice Castles, but Hockey Day Minnesota organizers say rain or shine a whole lot of Minnesota’s favorite past time will be played in Lowell Park.

Hockey Day Minnesota At a Glance

Friday Hockey Night
#HDMN2017 (Saturday, Jan. 21)

Tickets can be purchased online or at Lowell Park (quantities are limited) on Hockey Day Minnesota.

An adult ticket is $35, and student tickets (ages 4-18) are $25.

Park and Rides

Let’s be honest, if you’re reading this post you either know how to park in downtown Stillwater, or you know you don’t want to deal with parking in downtown Stillwater.

So, in addition to the parking ramp, there will be a couple park-and-ride locations available to fans on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

  • The Stillwater fan bus takes off from Stillwater Area High School
  • General fan parking at old Fury Motors dealership at 36 and Osgood
  • Stillwater Junior High School (Minnetonka and Eden Prairie parking and fan bus)
  • A bus will also run from Mahtomedi High School from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Volunteers flood the outdoor rink for Hockey Day Minnesota at Lowell Park in downtown Stillwater. (Photo by Earl Ward via Pictures of Stillwater Facebook group)‎

If You Build It, They Will Come

Nestled along the St. Croix River with the Stillwater Lift Bridge serving as a cinematic backdrop, the Hockey Day Minnesota rink is shaping up to be “the winter version of the iconic baseball field seen in the movie Field of Dreams when the puck drops Saturday. Yes, it’s that good,” Todd Smith wrote on

“One thing that Lowell Park brings to Hockey Day Minnesota is the intimate park setting,” said Tony Novalany, the Stillwater local organizing committee chairman. “The park is long and narrow. But we have set up every inch of the park for people to enjoy. With the lift bridge as a backdrop and the river bank on the other side, it’s going to be very scenic.”

Although the Ice Castles are closed for tours on Saturday, due to warm weather, they most definitely add a beautifully unique landscape to an already picturesque venue.

Two Jumbotrons were installed in the park — one is being used as a scoreboard and the other is being used so the overflow crowd can enjoy the game while sitting around the numerous fire pits in Lowell Park.

What it Took to Build the rink:
  • More than 100 dump truckloads of dirt to level the playing area.
  • Installation of temporary power poles
  • 5 sets of 300-plus-seat bleachers were first installed along the riverside, everything else was built around that
  • A special refrigerated mat with cooling coils was then installed as the foundation for the ice surface.
  • Volunteers stepped got the boards in place.
  • The rink was then flooded and the chiller mat was plugged in and powered up.
  • Ice was painted, glass installed and new logos added to the boards.
  • Lights and Jumbotrons erected