MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — It’s hard to tell a week ago that then Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo was fired.

Instead of a time of transition, it felt like a time for momentum and fun on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. And the crowd went wild after the Wild’s first goal. They got to do it over and over in this game.

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But before they took to the stands they took to the parking lots, this group of fans is divided.

“I actually moved up to Minneapolis six months ago but I’m Chicago born and bred. It’s good to have a taste of home here,” one hockey fan said.

A taste even his Wild friends enjoyed. Some came from Chicago, a few from even farther.

“Just two things in life you need – hockey and beer,” one fan said.

These three ice regulars came all the way from Austria to watch.

“We’re doing this for 10 years now, going to every hockey arena, this is our final one,” Peter from Austria said.

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And what an experience it was, comfortably cool.

“Balmy, it’s a balmy day, we were hoping for a little bit of snow,” K.C. Kaage from Chicago said.

“This is actually good weather, it’s perfect,” another hockey fan said.

Just last month, the stands were six below zero but Sunday, the face masks stayed at home.

“The slogan is free the thighs, sky’s out, thighs out and it doesn’t get warmer than this in Minnesota,” hockey fans said.

The players were bringing the heat too, on a day that epitomizes Minnesota and the team’s name.

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And you saw we talked with several Blackhawks fans, many flew and drove in.  Just eye balling the crowd, about 30 to 40 percent of fans were here for the Hawks.

Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield