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parents of steel in the spotlight this Saturday | News, Sports, Jobs

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NEW ULM — The 2022-23 New Ulm Steel Tier III Junior Hockey League roster currently consists of 33 players.

These players come to New Ulm and live here for eight months with host families while playing hockey.

And those 33 players come from all over the United States.

Of the 33, 22 are from Minnesota. Two are from California, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Alaska, North Dakota, Colorado, Illinois and Nebraska each have a player on the New Ulm roster.

This Saturday when the Steel host Willmar at 7:10 p.m. at the New Ulm Civic Center in an NA3HL game, the players’ parents will be honored.

“We don’t know which parents will be coming – we’re still waiting for RSVPs from them,” said Steel/GM head coach Alex North. “Some parents will get through this and some not just because of the distances involved.”

And parenting a player who has seen their son move hundreds of miles from home – some being separated for the first time – can sometimes be difficult for both parent and player.

And North can speak from experience.

“When I went to play junior hockey, it took my parents a bit of getting used to,” says North. “Parents know that we are chasing our dreams of playing top level hockey. But it’s something I would definitely go and do again.

North added that his first year of junior hockey was in Canada.

“My first year (of junior hockey) was in Powell River, BC, and it was the first time I was abandoned and alone. recalled North, a native of Faribault, Minnesota. “My first day was a bit difficult but after that you are with your teammates and they become a second family for you.

“I’m sure at first the kid is pretty excited, but (for a parent) it’s never easy to send their kid away and be away from them for a long time. moves into someone else’s house and lives with them – you need to make sure you are part of the family you live with.

North said some players take it easier than others.

“Some get along with anyone and there are some for whom it’s their first time away from home – it takes them some getting used to. We have both on our team this year. But right now, everyone is settled in and enjoying it here in town.

“I try to recruit here ideally first because if a player has to go home for a day or two, he can do it – it’s an easy decision.”

While seeing their son leave can have an emotional impact on parents, playing junior hockey also has a financial impact.

“The cost is a bit cheaper than a freshman year of college,” said North. “It’s a financial commitment to play the game we all love.”

And it can be a time to grow as a person.

“I wasn’t ready to go to college right after high school (Shattuck-St. Mary’s) and by the time I was a college freshman (St. Mary’s University in Winona and a grad in sports management), I was ready after junior hockey.”

STEEL JERSEYS AUCTIONED: This Saturday night, game-worn Steel jerseys will also be auctioned off in a silent auction during the game.

A portion of proceeds from jersey sales will go to local Minnesota Deer Hunters Association chapters, Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever.



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