STILLWATER -- James Bohn delivered a stirring rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner." Wild announcer Adam Abrams introduced the starting lineups. Tom Reid got the crowd going with "Let's Play Hockey!"
And it all happened at the St. Croix Valley Recreation Center during a 12U girls game between the Stillwater Ponies and Roseville Raiders.
Tuesday night, the Wild launched its first-ever Minnesota Wild Youth Hockey Spotlight, a full in-game experience reminiscent of the show put on at Xcel Energy Center for the NHL squad. Among the festivities were a special appearance from mascot Nordy, the same tunes the Wild skates to in its own pregame warmups, guest coaching from Wild assistants John Anderson and Scott Stevens and more.
Stillwater and Roseville's 12U girls teams were greeted with their own name plates, State of Hockey tote bags and Wild water bottles in their locker stalls.
"I was very excited. It was a big surprise," said Roseville goaltender Ellen Wagner. "No one knew what was happening, and everyone was overall really, really excited.
"It was the biggest game of my life."
Stevens and Anderson successfully undertook their guest coaching duties, giving pregame speeches in each locker room before the Ponies and Raiders took the ice.
Each team had its own loud cheering section with plenty of enthusiastic youth hockey fans.
One of the more special moments of the big night was Lt. Col. Josh Ligday's appearance as a Guardian of the Game. Ligday, stationed in California, flew back to Minnesota to surprise his niece, Kylie, a Stillwater defenseman. The two shared a hug during pregame ceremonies.
Bohn, the Wild's national anthem singer, sang "The Star Spangled Banner," then it was time to drop the puck.
Tom Reid's rendition of "Let's Play Hockey!" was one for the ages.
The Ponies and Raiders played a close, hard-fought game, but the home team fought through a late Roseville power play to hold on for the 3-2 win.
During postgame, Raiders goaltender Ellen Wagner shared some of her thoughts with FOX Sports North reporter Kevin Gorg.
"It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me as a coach, and just looking back at what that would've been like as a youth player, I'm assuming they had a really good time," said Stillwater head coach Katie Frischmann. "It was a lot of fun to see them come into the rink super confused about what was happening. We're all really grateful they had the opportunity to do this today."