Battle for Stanley Cup comes to Carlton this weekendCARLTON — Joe Broneak remembers a lot about his hockey playing days.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
CARLTON — Joe Broneak remembers a lot about his hockey playing days. Whether it was in high school or college, or even as a youngster outside playing without a mask, he remembers it all.
And there’s no doubt he’ll remember this weekend — he’s playing for the Stanley Cup.
Broneak, along with other area law enforcement personnel, will battle for the first-ever Stanley Cup of Law Enforcement in a local hockey tournament set for Friday and Saturday, Nov. 21-22, at the Four Seasons Sports Complex in Carlton.
The idea was generated by organizer Broneak last year while playing in a Duluth tournament. The event will welcome six of the best local law enforcement teams to the rink, with nine games played over two days.
Teams from Duluth, Hermantown, Cloquet and the Iron Range are set to participate in three games each over the weekend. The puck will drop for round robin play at 3 p.m. Friday and continue Saturday at 11 a.m., with the championship game set for 4 p.m.
When all said and done, the championship team will get their names engraved on the 20-pound, 4-foot stainless steel Stanley Cup trophy that will stay in Carlton year-round, while first- and second-place teams will receive plaques to keep.
“I’m really excited!” said Broneak, a 1985 graduate of Cloquet High School and current Virginia police officer. “It should be a really good time.”
Teams usually range from 10-20 guys from the public safety field per side, while games run roughly an hour long, with 15 minutes of resurfacing in between periods. Normal hockey rules apply, yet in this league, penalties are more costly, with most earning players four minutes in the penalty box instead of two. That way, Broneak hopes to cut down on any cheap-style of play.
“It’s a different style of hockey because it’s a lot cleaner,” said Broneak, who is captain of the Iron Range team. “People should get to see some good hockey this weekend.”
And Broneak didn’t just want to set up this old guy’s tournament for fun; he wanted to set it up for something much more – the local community.
Along with the tournament itself, Broneak has organized a social gathering Friday night and banquet Saturday evening in Cloquet, which will not only include a number of prizes, but also a raffle supporting the Carlton School District.
With all the proceeds of the tournament going towards a good cause, Broneak has heard nothing but good things about the event.
Local sponsors have donated to the tournament, including Cloquet native and current National Hockey League player Jamie Langenbrunner, who donated a signed hockey stick he used in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.
“I’ve been on the phone a lot,” said Broneak. “The area support has really taken me aside. Everyone really has been a great support in helping me put this on.”
With the tournament set to kick off Friday afternoon, fans are encouraged to swing by and enjoy the action. Admission is free to the public with a bucket available for donations.
“Hopefully everything goes as planned,” said Broneak. “I’m hoping it will be a really fun time; not only for us players, but for the whole area. Its not just about playing hockey, it’s about supporting a community.”