As you weave through a heavily wooded area just off Minnesota Highway 371, it feels like you must have taken a wrong turn at some point.
But zip a mile east on County Road 13, another mile up Clark Lake Road, take a winding turn to the left, and you come upon a massive warehouse-looking structure. The industrial-sized garage door is wide open. A cool breeze from nearby Clark Lake blows in, while the sounds of AC/DC, the Cars and the Eagles blare out.
Inside, it’s full of gym and workout equipment, surrounded by photos and jerseys of NHL players who have spent time there in the past: T.J. Oshie, Matt Greene, Brad Malone, Ryan Malone, Scott Hartnell, Derek Stepan, Jarret Stoll and more.
Normally, at this time in the summer, it would be home to scores of young hockey players working out at Minnesota Hockey Camps. But not this year. Not with the coronavirus pandemic raging on.
Instead, you’ll find Cole Smith and his friends alone in there.
Smith’s workouts are a thing of legend among his UND hockey teammates. Over the last four years, they’ve come up with many different ways to describe him: freak, specimen, warrior.
In 2016, Smith…