Mar 2, 2018

By: Jennifer Schallmoser

Iowa Wild hosted its annual Hockey and Heels event on Feb. 21, where female fans learned the ins and outs of hockey and the Wild organization.

“Hockey and Heels is a great opportunity for ladies to enjoy a night out with friends, learn more about the sport of hockey, experience a behind-the-scenes tour, and meet players, coaches, and staff,” said Allie Brown, Director of Fan Development and Creative Services for Iowa Wild.

Katie Duckworth, a resident of southern Iowa, attended Hockey and Heels for the first time this year.

“I’m a big Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild fan,” she said. “I saw this event and definitely had to come.”

The evening kicked off with food, wine and mingling. During that time, the women interacted with sponsors of the event: Sun Tan City, Summerset Winery, SewCherry OnaTopp Stitchworks, Salon 86 and Plato's Closet, with each handing out prizes for winners of a raffle. While enjoying food and wine, the women were later joined by Iowa Wild players before splitting into three groups, labeled forwards, defense and centers. Those groups spent time and rotated between different stations throughout Wells Fargo Arena.

The “forwards” group started with a tour of the locker room, given by equipment managers Mike Lefczik and Jason Aldrich and a chalk talk with head coach Derek Lalonde.

“My time with them was unique,” said Lalonde. “I was very impressed with the level of hockey knowledge and just the insight and how curious the women were on how things operated and worked.”

The next station was the Q&A panel with Wild players, where those in attendance peppered the players with hockey and non-hockey questions. One of the guys on the panel was goaltender Steve Michalek.

“It was good to get out with some of the fans, answer some questions and have a little bit of fun and some laughs,” Michalek said. “They’re so good with supporting us the rest of the year, so it’s always good to show our appreciation and try to give back to our community.”

Michalek sat on the panel with teammates Jack Walker, Brennan Menell, Gerry Mayhew, Ryan White and Justin Kloos where they “definitely had some laughs.”

“I thought Menell was definitely the MVP of that station,” said Michalek. 

Before the evening came to a close, the ladies made their third and final stop, the ice, where Iowa Wild broadcaster Joe O’Donnell shared some hockey knowledge, all of which was demonstrated by Iowa Wild rookies Luke Kunin and Carson Soucy.

With the event winding down, each attendant received a gift bag including a bottle from Summerset Wine, an Iowa Wild wine glass and sponsor gifts.

As for the overall success of the event, Lalonde said it best.

“It couldn’t have gone any better,” said Lalonde. “We’re very fortunate to be this significant in this great city, in this community, and we’re going to give back whenever we can.”

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