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FSN North, Wild Receive Top Ratings For 2008 Hockey Day

by Staff Writer / Minnesota Wild
FSN North Staff Battled Extreme Weather Conditions in Northern Minnesota

Despite extreme weather conditions in northern Minnesota on Saturday, February 9, FSN North, in conjunction with the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, televised the second annual Hockey Day Minnesota.  The broadcast event, sponsored by Dairy Queen, was a success receiving top ratings and praise throughout the State of Hockey.

According to Nielsen Media Research, FSN North received top ratings for their coverage of Hockey Day Minnesota, including the second highest rated Wild game (4.16) and the highest rated Wild pre-game (3.31) of the season.

With over 16 hours of hockey-related programming, including five full games from three locations, over 100 FSN North employees took part in the day-long event.  The telecast event began at 9 a.m. with programming anchored from Baudette Bay in northern Minnesota by Anthony LaPanta and Kevin Gorg and concluded at 1 a.m. from the Xcel Energy Center by Marney Gellner and Darby Hendrickson.

FSN North employees in northern Minnesota battled extreme weather conditions and spent hours in frigid conditions to televise two live outdoor high school hockey games live from Baudette Bay. The Weather Channel recorded a daytime low of -17 degrees Fahrenheit with temperatures that felt like -45 and wind conditions up to 29 mph.

“It was a tremendous effort that, once again, proved how our region rises to the occasion,” FSN North Senior Vice President and General Manager Mike Dimond said. “The crew battled extreme conditions – without one word of complaint – and the conditions had little impact on what the fans at home ended up seeing on TV.”

The cold weather didn’t stop over 1200 fans and 50 sponsors from attending the event. “I was devastated when the blizzard hit that morning,” said Sara Thompson, event coordinator for the Baudette Bay Hockey Classic. “But it still turned out to be a great day, I was so proud of the FSN crew, they really did a fantastic job!”

"The spectacle of Hockey Day Minnesota took another huge step forward this year," said Minnesota Wild Executive Vice President Matt Majka. "The Minnesota Wild is proud to be associated with an ambitious event like this which puts Minnesota's passion for hockey on full display and reinforces that this truly is the State of Hockey."

“As president of the Hockey Coaches Association I am so, so grateful for the coverage you have provided our sport,” said Dave Aus, Head Hockey Coach at Blaine High School.  “You guys have been a major part of continuing to grow the legend that is Minnesota High School Hockey.”

Hockey Day Minnesota debuted on Saturday, January 20, 2007, winning FSN North two regional Emmys for “Best Sports Program” and “Sporting Event/Live Unedited Special.”

FSN North reaches more than 2 million homes throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota and telecasts nearly 2,600 hours of locally produced programming per year. The Emmy Award-winning regional sports network provides comprehensive coverage of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, MLB’s Minnesota Twins, the NHL’s Minnesota Wild, the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx as well as the University of Minnesota athletic events.
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