Inauguration of the hockey rink in Hastings to help veterans

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The plan is to have the rink ready for operation in the fall of next year.

HASTINGS, Minnesota – They call Minnesota the land of ten thousand lakes.

They could also call it the land of ten thousand rinks, they are everywhere, but a new rink in Hastings will be different from all the others.

The United Heroes League (UHL) purchased 55 acres of land in Hastings in 2016 to create a one-of-a-kind campus for veterans and their children.

The site is already home to a veterans monument, archery range and obstacle course, and soon it will house a new outdoor hockey rink for children.

“So they can experience hockey in a dream realm of their own,” Hastings Mayor Mary Fasbender said.

The UHL’s plan is to hold leagues, games and skills training at the rink, so veterans’ kids can find camaraderie with other kids who are going through the same challenges as them.

“To make sure these kids have the opportunity to stay active. A lot of times we find that they’re having trouble sleeping, they’re struggling in the classroom, they’re missing a parent,” the president said. of the UHL board of directors, Tom Patnode.

Many current and former NHL players have also pledged to run camps and build skills for kids, including Hastings native and former Wild player Jeff Taffe.

“It brings a lot of joy to people and it’s really good to be a part of it,” Taffe said.

And it’s not just hockey, as more and more donation dollars are flowing into the United Heroes League which hopes to expand into other sports as well.

“The vision is to eventually have a football field, possibly a soccer field, and potentially a baseball field,” says Patnode.

The plan is to have the rink ready for operation in the fall of next year.

They hope to hold their first games and leagues in October or November.

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