Lake Superior Lawmen take Stanley Cup
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
Nine games. Two days. One champion – the Lake Superior Lawmen.
The Lawmen, of Duluth, defeated the Cloquet-Esko-Carlton North Stars 9-3 in the hockey championship game to capture the first-ever Stanley Cup of Law Enforcement this weekend at the Four Seasons Sports Complex in Carlton.
With the victory, the Lawmen got their names engraved on the 20-pound, 4-foot stainless steel Stanley Cup, which, along with team plaques, was given to the champions of the tournament that ran flawlessly throughout the weekend.
“It was the most fun I’ve had in a long time,” said event organizer and Virginia police officer Joe Broneak. “People really enjoyed this weekend.”
The tournament, conceived by Broneak after playing in a Duluth tournament last year, invited six law enforcement teams from around the Northland to participate. After six squads each played three games, the Lawmen were crowned champs.
“This weekend was just filled with some good old time hockey,” said Broneak, whose Iron Range club placed fourth in the tournament. “Games were fast, clean and very competitive. There were really never any blowouts and the sportsmanship was great. It was just a blast.”
Although the event invited some of the toughest teams on ice to Carlton, the tournament was also organized to benefit the community.
Broneak organized a social gathering Friday evening and a banquet Saturday night in Cloquet that included a number of prizes, as well as a raffle where all the money raised was donated to the Carlton School District.
“This weekend was much more than just a hockey tournament,” said Broneak about the event that brought large crowds and many donations. “It was about supporting a community and that’s exactly what happened.”
But the ultra-successful weekend didn’t come without hard work.
“I made a lot of calls and was running around here all the time,” said Broneak. “But there’s no doubt, it was well worth it. I received a ton of compliments and never heard a single complaint.”
With games going down to the wire, a cup waiting in Carlton and a community supported by an event favored by many, the Stanley Cup of Law Enforcement will be back next year – and Broneak can’t wait.
“I’m so excited,” he laughed. “I’m already planning it.”