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Duluth Heights places second in online rink contest

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DULUTH, MN. -- A big win for Duluth's hockey community.

Duluth Heights Community Center will soon be home to a brand new hockey rink, after finishing second in a major online contest put on by the Minnesota Wild.

Kids filled the Duluth Heights Community center ice rink Monday, but soon they'll have another surface of ice to play on.

"It's really nice to have a new rink here to skate around and have a good time. Come down, get some practice, shoot some pucks", said Ben Senich, Duluth Denfeld youth hockey player.

Duluth finished second in Minnesota Wild's outdoor ice rink fan vote contest, receiving more than 32,000 votes.

"It means we got a lot of support to keep this building. we have a lot of support to keep this sport growing in Duluth, we have a lot of support to keep the facility up and moving in Duluth", said Zak Radzak, Duluth Heights rink director.

As for those who will be cutting up the ice once the rink opens, it gives them another opportunity to do what they love most. Play hockey.

"Usually some of the rinks are being used for games or stuff, so when they get that additional rink, maybe the mites can play or when they aren't playing, other people can rink rat and stuff", said Senich.

Good news for the volunteers, too, whose job will be made much easier with a new sheet of ice.

"To have a rink where we know we can fill it up with water, put some water in a bladder, fill it up, and we got a rink immediately without putting the man hours, the hundreds of man hours it takes to build these rinks. It shows these other communities if you work hard, you set your mind straight, hopefully you are going to get some rinks", said Radzak.

Although the Duluth Community will be getting a new rink, the main rink still needs some maintenance when it comes to updating their boards and benches, and are asking for donations to help maintain it.

Work on the rink is set to begin sometime later this winter.

Ryan Compeau

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