MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Five weeks after a deadly school shooting killed 17 of their classmates and friends, hockey players from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, were in the Twin Cities Thursday.
The team won their state championship and are now playing in the USA Hockey National Championship tournament in Plymouth.
“We’ve had time to process this a little bit. But it’s all surreal and new. We take every day, day by day,” Stoneman Douglas senior Matthew Horowitz said.
“Minnesota has been great so far. We’ve had people come up to us on the street and say thank you for being here and they’ve given us a really, good welcome,” Stoneman Douglas senior Joey Zenobi said.
The game didn’t go quite the way Stoneman Douglas would have liked. But even in victory, Regis Jesuit of Colorado made sure how much respect and admiration they have. Every student and teacher in their school signed a banner for Stoneman Douglas.
“Writing them to let them know that bad things might happen, but there are still people that have their back,” said Dan Woodley, head coach of Regis Jesuit.
“We wanted to play hard, play our game and get the win obviously, but also respect their team, respect what they’ve been through because it’s probably very hard to come up after that,” said senior Shane Ott of Regis Jesuit.
The Florida Panthers gave the team their private jet to fly to the Twin Cities. But this trip isn’t just about hockey. While their classmates take part in the nationwide “March for our Lives” demonstration Saturday, some of the Stoneman Douglas players will be doing the same in Minneapolis. They may be playing for a national title, but they’re leading a national movement.
“We’re not done until something happens. We’re not done until something is done,” said captain Matthew Hauptman.