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New locker room fills Highland Park with sense of pride and optimism

Photo by Jeff Wegge for Minnesota Hockey Magazine

New locker room fills Highland Park with sense of pride and optimism

Pat Auran stood on a sheet of synthetic “ice” in a dark concrete room, its walls bearing the black scars of thousands of pucks hurled at them by kids of all sizes. As he looked to his left peering through an open doorway into a brightly lit room awash in red and white, the Highland Park High School Athletic Director’s smile revealed a man bursting with pride.

“This is a beautiful, wonderful space,” he said, his voice partially drowned out, appropriately, by Flo Rida’s “My House” pumping through the sound system on the other side.

The space Auran referred to is the Highland Park boys’ varsity hockey team’s shiny new locker room on the south end of Highland Park arena. With its walls adorned in team colors, hand-crafted wood locker stalls and a 65-inch television, the Scots finally have a place to call their own to meet and bond as a team.

As Auran points out, however, there’s also an added element of personal comfort the players will enjoy.

“You’ve got to realize that these kids were keeping their equipment under the bleachers of the north rink which never warms up,” Auran said. “So by January they’re pretty stinky and I think they’ve gone a couple months without ever drying out. So this will be a nice place for them where they can hang their equipment up and let it dry.”

“This isn’t something that I’m doing. It’s all the parents that have come together and them wanting to make a special for their sons and the community. That’s what’s really special. I’m just riding their coattails; all I’m doing is coaching the hockey team.” – Highland Park Head Coach Mark Prokop

To read more of this article, and many other great stories like it, click HERE to view the January, 2017 issue of our digital magazine and subscribe to have future issues delivered directly to your email inbox. 

Minnesota Hockey Magazine Executive Editor Brian Halverson is a member of the Minnesota Chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. His work has been published in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Miami Herald, St. Paul Pioneer Press, Hartford Courant, Dallas Morning News and ESPN.com.

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