By Ren Clayton

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thursday is opening night for Minnesota’s high school hockey season, and one game is raising awareness about mental health.

Rogers’ JV and varsity teams will face Sartell/Sauk Rapids at Rogers Activity Center, and it’s coinciding with an event called “Hockey Hits Back.”

It’s hosted by the nonprofit Sophie’s Squad, which was founded this summer in honor of Sophie Wieland. She lost her life to suicide in July.

The organization’s mission is to raise awareness for mental health issues for young athletes up through college. There’s a lot of people involved in the organization, including a few of Wieland’s former teammates, like Hannah Miller.

(credit: CBS)

“This is really important to me. I think it’s really cool that we get an opportunity to share her story a little and let other people know that they’re not alone,” Miller said. “She was a very positive person. She made everyone smile every time she was around you, and everyone misses her a lot.”

Attendees at Thursday night’s games are wearing teal in Wieland’s honor. Her parents will also be in attendance.

The organization is planning to put on more of these events, and all for a great cause.

Ren Clayton