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Annual Babbitt game Friday

The eighth annual End of the Road Hockey Tournament was held last weekend in Babbitt. This was the biggest tournament with over 70 participants. “They all want to come back next year,” said tournament organizer Duane Lossing. “They love our small town atmosphere and having a good time.” Pictured are: Shaun Kelly, Jeff Lind of Bemidgji, goalie Jim Unger of Rosemount, MN, Mark Saari of Biwabik, Dan Zutz of Fargo, ND, Larry Lind of Waconia, MN, Karl Koller of Cohasset, and referee DJ Janeksela.

Ely hockey team hosts Bagley Jan. 26 at Castellano Arena

Ely’s high school hockey team is set for its annual home game a little bit away from home.

Babbitt’s Ron Castellano Arena is the venue when the Timberwolves take on Bagley on Friday Jan. 26.

The drop of the puck in Babbitt is slated for 6 p.m.

This marks the fourth straight season that the Wolves will play a home game in Babbitt.

Northeast Range has been part of a hockey cooperative with Ely for many years and school officials have agreed to play one home game per year in Babbitt as a result.

Wes Sandy, a senior defenseman for the Wolves, is on the varsity roster and closing out his prep hockey career this winter in an Ely uniform.

The Wolves also have sophomores Ryland Sandy and Lewis Powell on the roster as part of the junior varsity team.

“This is a way to get Wes a game in his home rink as part of his senior year and a way to thank Northeast Range for being part of our hockey program,” said Ely High School Athletic Director Tom Coombe. “We’re glad to be able to work with the city of Babbitt to make this happen. Castellano Arena is a classic rink and we are glad to be able to play there.”

Ely is having one its best seasons in years on the ice, racking up 11 wins already in 2023-24 including three straight with a first-place finish in the first Ely Holiday Classic.

When the Wolves take on Bagley in Babbitt, they’ll be out to avenge a 4-2 to the Flyers in a Jan. 5 clash on the road.

High school hockey returned to Babbitt in 2021 with an Ely contest against Bagley, in what was believed to be the first high school boys game there in roughly 20 years.  Ely also met Mora there in 2022 and St. Paul Johnson last season.

Ely is 11-5 heading into the home stretch of the regular season.

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