Nov. 2, 2010
This is the fourth in a four part series on the upcoming cities that will host the Men’s Frozen Four. We did a question and answer segment with a former college player who reached the Frozen Four and now plays for the NHL team in that city to provide an insider’s guide to fans attending the championship.
October 12 – 2014 – Matt Carle, University of Denver – Philadelphia Flyers
October 19 – 2013 – Brooks Orpik, Boston College – Pittsburgh Penguins
October 26 – 2012 – Martin St. Louis, University of Vermont – Tampa Bay Lightning
November 2 – 2011 – Robbie Earl, University of Wisconsin – Minnesota Wild
Robbie won numerous awards and honors while playing at the University of Wisconsin from 2003 to 2006. The highlight was being named the Most Outstanding Player while winning an NCAA Championship at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee in 2006. He made his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2007-08 season, but was ultimately traded to the Minnesota Wild organization and played 32 games for the Wild last season. His familiarity with the Twin Cities goes beyond his time with the Wild as he traditionally played at the Xcel Energy Center during the WCHA Final Five as a member of the badgers.
Tell us about the Xcel Energy Center.
The Xcel Energy Center is a great facility. Playing in the arena is just electric. It has a very updated arena style. There is always something going on in the building with everything from high school hockey to concerts.
Talk about hockey in the state of Minnesota.
It’s a part of the culture. We (Minnesota Wild) have a pretty devout following with every game selling out. The Gophers always have great attendance at their games as well. There are quite a few sports in the Twin Cities with the Gophers, Twins and Timberwolves, but hockey is up there at the top.
How is the fan support for hockey in Minnesota versus Wisconsin?
It’s tough for me to answer since I am from the other side of the state. Obviously it is a great rivalry between Wisconsin and Minnesota and the crowds at Mariucci were amazing just like they were in Wisconsin. As for the Wild, you really want to do your best for the fans since they are so passionate. The fans can really get the building going.
What are your favorite restaurants?
Pazzaluna and La Grolla are both in downtown St. Paul and have great Italian food.
For the fans that aren’t able to get tickets to the games, where should they go to watch?
Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub – They have a lot of TV’s and a lot of hockey memorabilia.
Obviously Minnesota is known for its steaks, what’s your favorite steak place?
Kincaid’s is really good.
For fans coming from out of town who might never been to the Twin Cities, where would you recommend they spend some time?
The Twin Cities are very lively. There is always something to do, but here are some of the top things I would recommend.
If the Twins are in town, games are great at the new stadium.
Also, the Science Museum of Minnesota, right in St.Paul, is very interesting thing and is great for the whole family.
Also, I have never been to the Minnesota Museum of American Art, but have heard great things and it is on my short list of places to go.