No place like home: Players from Calumet discuss Calumet Colosseum as home
CALUMET — Many players at all ages and skill levels have called the Calumet Colosseum their home rink for many decades. The recent Hockeyville win brings a special meaning to Calumet natives like Rory Anderson and Maxx Fredrickson.
Both have spent the last two seasons together with the Calumet Wolverines of the Great Lakes Hockey League following their graduations from Calumet High School.
Anderson and Fredrickson reflected on what winning means for the future of the rink they have called home for their entire careers.
“It’s huge,” said Anderson. “It’s not very often that we get something like this going on up in the Copper Country. It’ll mean a lot to everybody around and the rink. (With) all the kids growing up wanting to be hockey players.
“I’ve been following Hockeyville for a couple of years now, ever since they started televising it. I think when people see it, they’ll realize that they have connections to here and maybe try to take a swing up here and visit. Who knows, but I think it’ll be really cool to have it nationally broadcasted.”
Hosting an NHL preseason game in September means welcoming professional athletes into a hometown that lives for hockey.
“It’ll be huge to get both teams up here for a couple of days,” Anderson said. “It’ll be a big event and they’ll be a lot of people around (for the game). It’ll be fun.”
Both men agree that the rink is historically untouchable, but the improvements that are about to be made are for the better to help future generations of players fall in love with the game.
“I think it’s going to create a lot of excitement, so that’s going to help keep people coming back (and) create more opportunities for more people to come play there,” said Anderson. “(It) will get a lot more kids involved (in the sport).
“For me growing up, it hasn’t really changed a whole lot (except for making) a few upgrades here and there. It’s a good rink. They updated the boards and may have put some new ice in. (The Colosseum) hasn’t changed a lot since I’ve been growing up, but I’m sure it will here in the next few years.”
“Obviously the money will be huge, but for me I kind of like the history of it,” Anderson said. “They’re going to change a few things but I kind of like it how it is.”
When asked what their biggest memory playing in the Calumet Colosseum has been so far, Anderson recalled his high school days with the Calumet Copper Kings while Fredrickson reflected on his four years with the Wolverines.
“I think my biggest memory might just be playing high school hockey there,” said Anderson. “As a home rink, it was a great rink to play at. All the fans were big every game. Playing high school hockey is my favorite memory.”
“I wouldn’t know how to put into words what it means to me,” said Fredrickson, “but it’s definitely cool that I get to play there when we go skate and play (home) games. I enjoy playing there. I know a lot of people do when they come up here they really love playing there.”
The Colosseum can mean something different to every player and fan. For Anderson, the rink holds a sense of youthfulness while Fredrickson’s favorite memory came during last year’s Game Three of the Gibson Cup.
“It means a lot to me actually,” Fredrickson said. “I’ve grown up my whole life playing at the Colosseum all the way from when I was a kid and until high school. Then I took a break from it for a little bit, and now I’m playing it (hockey) again for the Wolverines. It’s meant a lot to me my whole life growing up.”
“Definitely the simplicity of the rink adds to its greatness,” said Anderson. “Definitely last year with Game Three of the Gibson Cup on home ice when it was that barn burner. It was awesome. I’m definitely never going to forget that one.
“I’m just really excited for the week (of the game) to be here.”