US Pond Hockey Championships at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis
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Where to See Hockey in Minnesota

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US Pond Hockey Championships at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis / Ryan Taylor

Where to See Hockey in Minnesota

By Caitlin Hannah

The Land of 10,000 Lakes may be the most popular nickname for Minnesota, but it's also known as The State of Hockey — and for good reason. It's one of the most popular sports in Minnesota. 

Da Beauty League

Da Beauty League

And not just on a professional level either. Every year, more than 135,000 fans gather at the Xcel Energy Center for the Minnesota Boys State Hockey Tournament.

In the summer, top NCAA and NHL players face off in four-man games at Braemar Arena in Edina. Ticket proceeds from Da Beauty League are donated to non-profits that support military families, disabled player leagues, and more. 

Here are a few other ways you can experience Minnesota's hockey culture firsthand. 

Minnesota Wild celebrate a goal

Minnesota Wild celebrate a goal at Xcel Energy Center  / Visit Saint Paul

PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY  

Seven seasons after the Minnesota North Stars left Bloomington for Dallas, the NHL unveiled a new franchise in St. Paul: the Minnesota Wild. The young team won its first division championship in the 2007-2008 season and has produced such star players as Mikko Koivu, Marian Gaborik and Niklas Backstrom. 

In early 2024, the Professional Women's Hockey League debuted one of its first six franchises in Minnesota. Stroll through the arena to see nods to the history of the sport, snap a selfie with your favorite Charlie Brown characters, and cheer for the "Team of 18,000", which includes quite a few Minnesotans.

If you’re in the mood for a bite to eat before or after a game, visit Herbie’s on the Park — which pays homage to Herb Brooks — or Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, which is full of hockey memorabilia.

University of Minnesota women's hockey team

U of M's women's hockey team  / Brad Rempel

COLLEGE TEAMS

College hockey is a big deal in Minnesota, and the games are just as popular as the pros.

Playing at the 3M Arena at Mariucci, the University of Minnesota women’s hockey team has won the NCAA National Championship eight times in the past 16 years. The University of Minnesota men’s hockey team has won the NCAA National Championship five times.

The Mankato Mavericks men's and women’s team play at the Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center. The men’s team has made several appearances at the NCAA Tournament.

Aerial shot of a hockey rink on the St. Croix River

Hockey Day Minnesota travels to a different city every year / Spencer Barrett

HOCKEY DAY MINNESOTA 

Hockey fans from Minnesota and beyond take pride in their beloved sport at Bally Sports North's annual Hockey Day Minnesota. This Minnesota tradition began in 2007 and takes place in a different city every year.

In 2024, the celebration will be in Warroad where hockey fans will gather to enjoy games of boys and girls high school hockey followed by a Minnesota Wild game.

World's largest hockey stick

See the world's largest hockey stick in Eveleth / Iron Range Tourism Bureau

U.S. HOCKEY HALL OF FAME 

Year-round, hockey fans love discovering the history of the game at the United States Hockey Hall of Fame in Eveleth. Try your skills on the replica rink, watch the final moments of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice” game and learn about notable hockey players that hail from Minnesota. Just minutes away from the museum you will find the World’s Largest Hockey Stick. Hockey history is also on display in Warroad, dubbed Hockeytown USA, at the city's Olympic and Garden arenas.

A couple players face off at the US Pond Hockey Championships

A couple players face off at the US Pond Hockey Championships / Ryan Taylor

POND HOCKEY 

Every year, hockey players from around the world gather at Lake Nokomis for the U.S. Pond Hockey Championships in hopes of winning the Golden Shovel. ESPN.com listed the event as one of “101 Things Sports Fans Must Experience Before They Die."

Other pond hockey tournaments can be found at the Northwoods Pond Hockey Championship on McKinney Lake in Grand Rapids, the Gull Lake Frozen Fore in the Brainerd Lakes Area, the Anthony Ford Pond Hockey Classic in North Mankato, and the Southern Minnesota Pond Hockey Championship in Fairmont.

Warroad Riverbend Skate Path

Warroad Riverbend Skate Path / Jonah Cory

HOCKEYTOWN USA 

Lace up your skates and glide down the country's longest ice path, which spans 5.2 miles throughout Warroad. If you do not have skates, you can rent them at Doc’s Harbor Inn. Skaters will find Christmas trees, hot cocoa, and other concessions along the way.

Finland and Germany compete in the IIHF World Junior Championship

Finland and Germany in 2022's quarterfinals  / IIHF World Junior Championship

HOCKEY TOURNAMENTS 

In 2026, Minnesota will be hosting 2026 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. The 50th Anniversary Championship is set for Dec. 26, 2025 – Jan. 5, 2026, at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.  

Find more ice rinks to enjoy in Minnesota

Caitlin Hannah

Caitlin Hannah is Explore Minnesota's senior digital social strategist. When traveling around the state, she likes spending time near the water, hiking, antique shopping, trying new restaurants, and watching hockey.