ST. CLOUD -- This week in our "Behind the Scenes" series on WJON, we go to the locker room at the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center and prepare for game time.

With as much work that is put in on the ice just as much effort is put in off the ice.

Jeremiah Minkel is the Equipment Manager for the men's and women's hockey teams at St. Cloud State University and says the work is endless.

"I'll have everything turned around and spotless by the time the team gets here," says Minkel.

Minkel begins every game day at about 9:00 a.m. sharpening skates and each pair of skates has two sets of blades to do.

"So after I sharpen the blade I take my quick square and check and see if my edges are level and if they are off I will adjust accordingly," says Minkel.

From there it's time to put the practice jersey's into the wash.

"We also do the visiting teams laundry so I have to get that ready before the following practice the next day," says Minkel.

Once all the teams are done with morning practice Minkel, along with his six student workers, start cleaning the lockers rooms.

"We sweep and vacuum the lockers fill the coolers and then start getting jersey's, socks, skates everything the players need for the game tonight," says Minkel.

However the work doesn't end once the puck drops. Minkel and his staff remain close by in case they need to fix broken equipment.

"We have replacements for every size skate, stick from every manufacturer so if something does break during the game we can quickly change it," says Minkel.

And if they are not fixing broken skates Minkel says they are finishing game day laundry, which when both home teams play could go well past midnight.

"We will do the women's laundry during the men's game and then once the men's game is finished we will push that through," says Minkel.

Minkel says there is a lot to do on game day but for him the work is more fun than a job.


Skates are being sharpened before game time. (Photo: Alex Svejkovsky, WJON News)