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Lots to discuss at The Nagle

College Hockey America regular season and playoff championships; a NCAA Midwest Regional Championship following wins over Notre Dame and Cornell; a story book run to the 2009 Frozen Four in Washington, D.C.; admittance into the WCHA and a brand new arena on the shores of Lake Bemidji in time for the 2010 season

There certainly will be plenty to talk about as Bemidji State men's hockey alumni, fans and community supporters gather for the Galen Nagle Memorial Golf Tournament at Bemidji Town and Country Club today.

It's an historic time for BSU hockey -- after years of facing serious questions about the program's future. Years of advocating for a new arena and admittance into the premier league in college hockey are now a reality. The long battles can now be put behind with the focus on a very exciting future.

The Nagle, as it has become known, began in 1997 as the main fund raiser for the BSU men's hockey program. Nagle, who was a goaltender for the Beavers from 1980-84, went on to serve as a coach and teacher in Minnesota for several years before losing his life to cancer Oct. 18, 1994 at the age of 34.

Nagle was a member of the historic 1984 national championship team at BSU. He earned an 8-1 victory between the pipes to cap off the perfect 31-0 season.

"Galen exemplified Beaver hockey," said former BSU men's hockey coach and athletic director R.H. Bob Peters. "Hard work, dedication and loyalty were inherent to his character, and through his efforts, he became a vital part of our team."

Nagle, a native of Baudette, graduated from BSU in 1984 and was a 1980 graduate of Bemidji High School.

Usually, events such as these are named after a player or coach as means to memorialize the person, to keep their memory alive. While that's certainly the case with The Nagle there is an even larger purpose.

"Galen Nagle will always be synonymous with Beaver hockey," said Bemidji State head men's hockey coach Tom Serratore. "He's a very special person and it's an honor for Beaver hockey to be associated with him. Galen's picture is the first photo you see when walking into the locker room."

Today, 36 teams of 180 BSU alumni, players, coaches, fans and supporters will gather at BTCC to take part in the yearly event. It seems strange thinking about hockey this time of year, but the 2009-10 season kicks off in only about 10 weeks - in early October.

"The Nagle is the event that gets everyone thinking about hockey and the season ahead," Serratore reported. "At latest count, we'll have 51 alumni back. There are getting to be more and more younger alumni coming back every year which is great and bodes well for the future of events like these. It's just a great way for everyone interested in Beavers hockey to get-together, have a good time and reconnect.

One of the highlights of the event will be the live auction which is slated to start about 7 p.m. Each year the auction features some very special items and this year will be no exception - one week's stay at Kawishiwi Resort near Ely (operated by Frank Udovich), a guitar autographed by Bob Dylan, an autographed Andrwe Murray jersey, a great deal of autographed 20098 Frozen Four memorabilia and ticket packages for the North Dakota, Minnesota and Nebraska Omaha series' among them.

The public is invited to join in on the fun. Tickets for dinner, which is slated to start at 6 p.m., will be available at the door.

Also certain to be a topic of discussion will be Sheryl Crow's performance at Moondance Jam in Walker Thursday night.

Serratore brought the performer, who sang the national anthem at the MLB All Star Game Tuesday, a customized Beavers hockey jersey with her name on the back.

Serratore reported Crow wore the jersey during the encore of her set, much to the appreciation of the capacity crowd in attendance.

Another BSU hockey fan...