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Hockey Means Business in Minnesota

Created: 12/27/2013 7:13 PM KAALtv.com
By: Sean Boswell

(ABC 6 News) -- The Rochester Kiwanis Hockey Festival is raising money for clubs in the area.

The festival has risen over $630 thousand in the 20 years it's been around. Some of the best high school hockey teams in the Midwest were competing Friday.

"There's some really good competition here, I guess better players come from Minnesota, bigger, faster, stronger," said high said high schooler Andrew Emberson.

Emberson’s team is from Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Playing against competition he says he doesn't see back home.

"To me there's more talent here. Very competitive. Get to see a lot of different styles of play, compared to Wisconsin teams, Minnesota teams, different style," said Alex Geving.

"It’s definitely a great tournament, it's very competitive, well put together tournament," said Nick Schreiter.

Coming to Rochester is fun for the team itself. They get to travel and get close to the guys on the team.

"It's always nice to go to an away tournament. You get to stay in a hotel with a bunch of guys, probably my favorite part; you get to know your teammates a little better," said Austin Bunce.

"It's good for the community, they stay in our hotels, we have 24 teams, and except for the local Rochester teams, they're all from out of town," said the festival’s co-director Bob Nowicki.

Overall, the team from Eau Claire says that Minnesota is a hockey state.

"In Wisconsin, it's more baseball, basketball, football. Here in Minnesota it's more all-around hockey. It's nice and I like it,” said Emberson.