Gophers trip at ASU means Knies go home while Cooley goes to office – The Rink Live

PHOENIX — As excited as they are to watch their son play for his home state’s Minnesota Gophers this weekend, there’s something that Miroslav and Michaela Knis — Arizonans by way of Slovakia — will lose: hotel keys.

“I don’t think they’ve ever gone to a game where they didn’t have to stay in a hotel for years,” said Gophers star Matthew Kniss, who admitted that the team’s trip to Arizona is far from business as usual. “I’m really excited to be back there, to go home, to see my family, to come home and have Thanksgiving dinner with all the guys. It’s going to be a special weekend for sure.”

Miro Kniss confirmed that in his sixth season as a college hockey parent, he will finally see son come home for a few games. Matthew’s older brother Phil played four years in Miami (Ohio) and another in Bentley without a trip to the state.

But before the disc drops at Mullett Arena on Friday, perhaps the biggest excitement of the weekend will happen at the synagogue house in northwest Phoenix the day before. They plan to host and feed all Gophers, staff, coaches and any parents who want to join.

Miro joked that it’s easier than ordering a clown, a bouncy house, and arranging everything for a kids’ birthday party. They will have tables and chairs set up outside in the family’s large backyard where they will serve five turkeys. They plan enough to satisfy 50 or 60 guests.

“We also ordered some pasta, pulled pork, lots of side dishes and desserts, so we should be able to feed everyone,” Miro said.

NHL: NHL Draft

Logan Cooley after being selected as the number three overall pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the first round of the 2022 NHL Draft at the Bell Center in Montreal on July 7, 2022.
Eric Bolt/USA Today Sports

While Kniss spends Thursdays at home, his colleague Logan Cooley heads to the (futuristic) office on Fridays and Saturdays. Selected third overall by the Arizona Coyotes in the 2022 NHL Draft, Cooley hopes to play professionally at Mullett Arena in a few years. The rink is also the temporary home for the Coyotes as they work to get a new NHL-sized facility built in Tempe.

“It’s something I’ve been circling on my calendar for some time now,” said Cooley, who spent a few days in Arizona in the height of the summer heat just after the draft. “The atmosphere is pretty crazy and I think it’s already sold out, so I’m looking forward to being there.”

The Knies provide the bulk of the food and venue for Thanksgiving, but other gopher parents provide smaller items and drinks. They are looking forward to a team and family get-together that wasn’t possible during the pandemic.

“It should be good. Getting everyone together for Thanksgiving is great,” said Kari Faber, mother of Gopher captain Brooke Faber.

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