CALUMET, Mich. -- In a town of 700, it seemed like all were present at Calumet Colosseum on Monday.
The rink, which opened in 1913 and has had hockey played in it ever since, got its first taste of the NHL preseason when the Detroit Red Wings defeated the St. Louis Blues 4-1 in Kraft Hockeyville USA 2019.
"Obviously it's a long day, but it was lots of fun," said Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha, who scored two goals. "The kids probably enjoyed it, so that's the main thing, and like I said, we had a blast coming here. It's a nice rink, actually, for 106 years old, so I can't complain for that.
"[The fans] were cheering for us, so we wanted to give them a good show, and I think that's exactly what we did."
The Red Wings and Blues arrived at the airport and took buses to the Colosseum, where hundreds of fans were waiting to greet them. The players signed autographs and posed for pictures.
"From the moment we landed, you saw people waiting on the side of the streets honking their horns," Blues forward Robby Fabbri said. "On the red carpet, everyone was there, and it just seemed like there was a buzz around the city all day, which is exciting that we can bring that to a city like this. It was definitely fun for all of us."
Video: Check out the best moments from Kraft Hockeyville USA
Red Wings forward Michael Rasmussen, who scored two goals, said he liked having an audience watch practice, which isn't typically the case.
"It was cool. Even in practice this morning it was an awesome crowd, just a really cool atmosphere," he said. "Really cool rink, an awesome community, so a really cool venue. We all really enjoyed it."
The locker rooms were downstairs, so the players had to get changed before going up the steps and taking the ice.
"It kind of brings you back to the minor hockey days with the cold rink and dressing out of your bag, so for me it kind of brought back some nice memories to those kind of simpler times," Rasmussen said.
As the winner of Kraft Hockeyville USA, Calumet, located about 430 miles northwest of Detroit, received $150,000 in rink upgrades. That helped ensure hockey will continue to be played at the rink, hopefully for the next 106 years.
"It's a good thing," Blues coach Craig Berube said. "It's a great little town and a great old rink, and to be part of something like this was great. Our players were excited. We didn't get the win, but it was a lot of good stuff."
Video: Recapping Kraft Hockeyville USA week in Calumet, MI
After the game, the players saluted the crowd of about 900, and 10 players from each team gave a signed jersey to fans.
"It's a really neat experience," Blues forward Robert Thomas said. "Growing up you always watch it in the different cities and see how excited the community gets, and this is a big hockey town, so it was a really cool experience, and you get to see the whole town come together around this event, and it went really well and was a lot of fun to play in."
Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill grew up in Michigan's upper peninsula, where Calumet is located, and played at the Colosseum. Although he had a great experience Thursday, he was more concerned with dinner.
"I got to have a pasty, I might have another pasty tonight, so that's two pasties, so that's awesome," Blashill said of the meat-filled pie. "I love the U.P. It was an unbelievable place to grow up. It was great to be back, these are the type of people I like to be around. Salt of the earth, great people."