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Film+Forum event will showcase 'Hockeyland' documentary, offer talk on mental health

The film follows the boys' high school teams from Eveleth-Gilbert and Hermantown throughout the 2019-20 season, showing their lives on and off the rink.

jea 3056 Mahtomedi vs Hermantown.jpg
Mahtomedi goalie Ben Dardis (32) send a Hermantown forward Blake Biondi (27) wide in the third period of the Class 1A championship game of the State Boys' Hockey Tournament at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul on Saturday, March 7, 2020. Mahtomedi beat Hermantown, 3-2 in overtime to claim the Class 1A championship. (John Autey / Pioneer Press)

In his documentary film "Hockeyland," Tommy Haines offers an uplifting and also unflinching look at high school hockey in northern Minnesota. He gives equal time to the on-ice triumphs and the off-ice challenges that kids in the State of Hockey experience in the modern world of being a high-profile student-athlete.

Cognizant of the mental health needs of countless young athletes in the region, Haines and a few more notable names in the local hockey community are hosting a unique forum where participants can see the movie and have a real locker room conversation about mental health.

Pond Hockey 2018
"Hockeyland" director and producer Tommy Haines
Contributed photo / David Greedy Photography

Starting at 6 p.m. CT on Sunday, Feb. 5, participants can log into what they’re calling “Hockeyland Film + Forum” where for $5 or less they can watch the documentary, then participate in and question-and-answer session with Haines along with NHL standout and Olympian Paul Martin, film star Blake Biondi of the Minnesota Duluth men's team, mental health coach Mark Wick and Positive Coaching Alliance educator Andy Shriver.

In promoting the event, Haines made it known that the $5 entry fee is suggested, and participation is free for Minnesota bantam teams and rural communities. Hockeyland, which has been nominated for a Critics Choice award for best sports documentary, follows the Eveleth-Gilbert and Hermantown boys hockey teams for a season, on and off the ice, as they experience all of the things that happen on the rink, and real life off the rink.

Haines, who has roots on Minnesota’s Iron Range, discussed the making of the movie last year as a guest of The Rink Live podcast . More details about the Film+Forum event are available at the official Hockeyland website .


Jess Myers covers college hockey, as well as outdoors, general sports and travel, for The Rink Live and the Forum Communications family of publications. He came to FCC in 2018 after three decades of covering sports as a freelancer for a variety of publications, while working full time in politics and media relations. A native of Warroad, Minn. (the real Hockeytown USA), Myers has a degree in journalism/communications from the University of Minnesota Duluth. He lives in the Twin Cities. Contact Jess via email at jrmyers@forumcomm.com, or find him on Twitter via @JessRMyers. English speaker.
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