WHO WE ARE
The St. Cloud Norsemen franchise is in its 18th season and 16th with team owner Chris Canavati of Alexandria, MN. Canavati and his brother Mitri have owned the team since 2006, though the team is new to St. Cloud. The team was previously known as the Blizzard and was based in Alexandria from 2004 through 2012, when the team relocated to Brookings, SD where it remained until 2019.
In 2019, the team came to St. Cloud as the Blizzard for one season, which was canceled in March 2020 due to the pandemic. The year 2020 brought the team a rebrand in its new home as the St. Cloud Norsemen, playing at the St. Cloud Municipal Athletic Complex, Dave Torrey Arena.
The Norsemen play in the North American Hockey League, which is made up of players that can be age 16-21 and are working towards earning NCAA scholarships. The Norsemen have had seven NCAA Division I commitments on the roster this season and additionally have 25 Division I alumni actively playing either college or professional hockey, including Chase Brand at St. Cloud State, Cade Borchardt at Minnesota State, and Brandon Kruse at Boston College, who is also an NHL draft pick of the Vegas Golden Knights.
The team has had multiple NHL draft picks and two NHL players in its history as well, North Dakota grad Paul LaDue who played for the LA Kings, and Paul Cotter, who was also a Vegas draft puck and made his debut for the Golden Knights this season.
St. Cloud is led by head coach Corey Millen, a Minnesota Golden Gophers alum from Cloquet, MN. Millen was drafted 57th overall by the New York Rangers, where he made his NHL debut following his NCAA career. Millen played in the NHL for the Rangers, LA Kings, New Jersey Devils, Dallas Stars and Calgary Flames. He is also a two-time United States Olympian (1984, 1988).
Norsemen players come from all over the world, including the St. Cloud area. The current team has players from Slovakia, Sweden, Alaska, North Carolina and all across the United States. Three local players have suited up for the Norsemen this season, all St. Cloud Cathedral graduates, including Blake Perbix of Princeton, Reid Bogenholm of Albertville, and Nate Warner of Sartell, whose season ended early due to injury.
Fans get more than a hockey game with the Norsemen.
WHERE WE PLAY
The Municipal Athletic Complex (MAC), located on the northwestern side of St. Cloud, is comprised of two ice sheets, two baseball stadiums and an executive par 30 public golf course. The original ice sheet opened for business in November of 1972.
For over 15 years, the MAC was the only sheet within a 30 mile radius. Originally, the MAC hosted three area high schools, St. Cloud State and St. John’s University hockey programs, plus the areas youth hockey and figure skating organizations. With the increase in skating over the last 12 years, St. Cloud has seen ice sheets added to St. Cloud State University and the Benton County Fairgrounds.
Having served its customers for over 20 years, usage was starting to wear on the MAC. In 1994 the MAC went through an extensive renovation. During the renovation the MAC never missed a day of business. Patrons of the MAC were very understanding and patient with the renovation process. After the final touches of the renovation were finished, MAC patrons saw an aging building become revitalized and given a new look and new features. Added to the MAC were new locker rooms, seating for 1,800, dasher boards, restrooms, office and meeting space, concession stands and additional 3,000+ square foot mezzanine. The last touch was to provide a fresh coat of paint and a bright new color scheme.
Only two years after its renovation, the MAC broke ground for its second sheet of ice. In December of 1997 the MAC opened its second arena which is parallel to the original ice sheet. Similar in function to the original sheet of ice but scaled down in size, this wonderful rink complements the main sheet very well. The new arena was designed to work with the original building so it could be used as one large facility or be separated into two separate arenas. On July 23, 1998 the original arena was named and dedicated as Dave Torrey Arena and the second sheet was named and dedicated as Ritsche Arena.
Currently the two arenas are kept busy nearly year round. In addition to the Norsemen, who play at Dave Torrey Arena, the facility hosts five high school hockey teams, the St. Cloud Youth Hockey Association, the St. Cloud Figure Skating Club and several hockey schools, camps and leagues. Over 3,000 blocks of ice time are booked by groups each year. This type of impact brings an estimated 200,000 people through the doors annually.