The Wayzata Trojans boys high school hockey team are the reigning Minnesota state champions on the tail end of a rough 2016-17 campaign. The Plymouth Moose are the Trojans neighborhood special hockey team playing for a whole different purpose.
The connection story actually begins with a missed connection. Back in December, a parent for the Wayzata team reached out to see if they could help the Moose. Unfortunately, the only available dates at the time were during high school district games, so the Trojans had to take a rain check.
Persistence paid off when an arrangement was made for the Trojans Varsity and JV to attend a Plymouth game February 12th, to cheer on the Moose and their opponents, the Blaine Polars.
"With our game being at 11am on a Sunday (the morning after a big dance at the high school), I expected around 10 or 12 boys to show up" said Moose Coach Kevin Marsherall. "I was pleasantly surprised to see all 32 players dressed in shirt and tie, ready to cheer."
But the surprise doesn't stop there.
The stands were full. Moose and Polars parents. Wayzata Varsity and JV players and their parents. Passers by checking out the commotion.
"I've been coaching hockey games in the Plymouth Ice arena for over 15 years and have never seen every seat in PIC Rink B filled, people standing along the boards and watching upstairs behind the glass," Marsherall said.
Not only were the players early for puck drop, but every save and goal were met with huge, boisterous cheers with Moose Hockey signs waving. The players for both teams loved it and were hamming it up after most goals.
After the game the Trojan players formed a tunnel for the special hockey players of both teams to walk through to get to the locker room. They then went into the locker rooms with signed team pictures to hand out.
But again, the surprise doesn't stop there.
The Wayzata team invited the Moose to skate between periods of the Wayzata/Edina boys hockey game. For a full 10 minutes the Moose played against 5 skaters and 2 goalies from the Trojans JV team. Last but not least, the Wayzata parent volunteers sold over 250 pucks for a "Chuck-A-Puck" toss (they sold so many they ran out of pucks) with all proceeds going to the Hendrickson Foundation!
The events were such a hit that all parties look forward to continuing the partnership next year.