The players are ready. The stands are packed. And Braemar Arena pulses with excitement. This is the 49th year of hockey at the Edina Invitational, presented by Tradition Capital Bank – an event that’s as important today as it was nearly 50 years ago.
“I think it really showcases the Edina community at its finest,” says Edina Hockey Association tournament director Pete Waggoner. “It gives us a chance to be able to showcase our great teams and our hospitality.” When this tournament first started, Edina welcomed teams from all over the world. These days, the tournament focuses on more local competition. This year Edina will welcome youth teams from Woodbury, Osseo, Duluth East, Hermantown, Chaska/Chanhassen and more making 64 competing teams in total.
If you decide to take a time machine back to the earlier days of the Edina Invitational, you might see Dan Wurst on the ice. Wurst enjoyed his time in the youth hockey tournament so much he continued to be a part of the event long into adulthood. “As a youth I played in the tournament, and I had a great time,” Wurst says. “I’ve also coached in the tournament and last year I had the chance to be a parent of a player. All three levels were a lot of fun.”
Wurst sees this tournament as a chance to connect with the community. “It’s a great tournament at a time of year when you can reconnect with families,” Wurst says. “It seems to be a gathering place for anyone involved in hockey.” The Edina Invitational will take place December 27th–January 1st with games throughout each day. Experience for yourself some of Edina’s hockey energy.