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Wild Youth Hockey Spotlight Takes Over 12U Girls Game

Team brings pregame ceremonies, mascot and more to Stillwater

by Devin Lowe / Wild.com

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.

Tweet from @mnwild: Roseville's 12U girls team found a few extra goodies in their lockers today ������ #WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/nCP7HEc4nk

Tweet from @mnwild: "What is going on?!"Stillwater's 12U girls are pretty excited for #WildSpotlight! pic.twitter.com/VCdKDM59dM

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.

Tweet from @mnwild: Guest coach Scott Stevens shared a few words of hockey wisdom with Stillwater before the game. #WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/yQEFwfyW2h

Tweet from @mnwild: #mnwild is rolling out the red carpet for Stillwater and Roseville's 12U girls teams tonight! #WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/JXJHQnKLk

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.

Tweet from @mnwild: Lt. Col. Josh Ligday flew home especially to surprise his niece, Kylie Ligday, at #WildSpotlight. pic.twitter.com/aXKlJTjsKn

Bohn, the Wild's national anthem singer, sang "The Star Spangled Banner," then it was time to drop the puck.

Tweet from @mnwild: Let's Play Hockey!#WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/gG61Q1qbbR

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.

Tweet from @mnwild: #mnwild assistant coaches John Anderson and Scott Stevens look right at home. #WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/7F2v8cgdfC

Tweet from @mnwild: Ponies take it, 3-2! #WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/CqXF1jr9ZR

During postgame, Raiders goaltender Ellen Wagner shared some of her thoughts with FOX Sports North reporter Kevin Gorg.

Tweet from @mnwild: "It was a big surprise." ��� Raiders goaltender Ellen Wagner on #WildSpotlight pic.twitter.com/cxL95kdEX4

"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."

Tweet from @mnwild: That's all from Stillwater. Thanks for tuning in to #WildSpotlight! pic.twitter.com/zzbiJSVCn2

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