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Alexandria PeeWee wins hockey essay contest

Zac Nelson won a Hockey Education Program essay contest.

Zac Nelson, son of Eric and Kirsten Nelson of Alexandria, is the grand prize winner of the 2011 Minnesota Hockey "Hockey Education Program" (HEP) essay contest.

Nelson, 12, is a homeschooled 6th grader and is a member of the PeeWee B hockey team.

Entrants in the essay contest had to write 250 words or less on the theme "I love to go to the rink because..."

A panel of judges narrowed the essays down to three finalists, who read and recorded their essays at the Minnesota Wild recording studio February 1. Nelson's essay, along with the two others, were featured on Fox Sports North during the 2011 Hockey Day Minnesota Broadcast on February 12.

Nelson was then chosen as the winner. His grand prize will be a dream day at the Xcel Energy Center next year for his hockey team. They will be able to skate on the ice and then watch a Wild game from a suite.

Following is his essay.

"I love to go to the rink because it is the place where all my hockey dreams con come true. It is the place where I practice to get better until I can't practice anymore. It is also the place where I can hang out with my friends while we watch a high school game or have fun before one of our games. I love to go to the rink so much that I told Mom during s snowstorm, "I would walk to the rink for practice before I don't go at all!"

When I'm on the ice rink, I feel solid, strong, graceful, and unstoppable. I love to hear the crunch of the skate blades tearing up the ice, the slap of stick meeting puck, and the whistle at the end of a drill. During a game, I feel the adrenaline; there is excitement in the air as we battle down to the last buzzer. When I'm on the ice at the rink, I expect to do well in practices and games and make my coaches proud.

I love to go to the rink because...It is a place where no one can make me stop believing."