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Four generations of Mark Sertichs play hockey game together

Mark Sertich (13 years old), Mark Sertich (70), Mark Sertich (96) and Mark Sertich (40) play a hockey game together in Duluth. (Submitted photo)

DULUTH — Mark Sertich had a unique 96th birthday celebration.

He played a hockey game with Mark Sertich, Mark Sertich and Mark Sertich.

Four generations of Mark Sertichs skated together in a game for the first time last week at Heritage Sports Center in Duluth.

The eldest Sertich, who lives in Duluth, turned 96 last month. His son, who lives in Grand Forks, is 70. His grandson, who also lives in Grand Forks, is 40. And his great-grandson, who lives in Grand Forks, is 13.

In all there were roughly 10 family members spanning the four generations on the ice, including former Minnesota and professional player Andy Sertich, the grandson of the oldest Mark Sertich. They skated for a little more than an hour.

"It was pretty surreal," the 40-year-old Sertich said. "It was worth the trip and I'd like to do it again."

The 96-year-old Sertich still plays three times a week with a group of firefighters and police officers in Duluth.

His actual birthday occurred a couple of weeks before the family skate in Duluth, but Mark was in Santa Rosa, Calif., playing in the annual Snoopy hockey tournament.

When he returned, family members arranged the game spanning four generations along with the eldest Sertich's regular group.

The Heritage Sports Center donated the ice time and supplied cake for after the game.

"It was a lot of fun," the 70-year-old Sertich added. "It was a really special deal. We had maybe 10 family members playing with my dad's regular group of firefighters and police officers. My dad really enjoyed it."

The 96-year-old Sertich, who still cooks his own meals, mows his own lawn and shovels his own driveway—he doesn't own a snowblower—is popular among the group he plays with regularly. Because he dons a handlebar mustache, some of the firefighters put on fake handlebar mustaches for the birthday skate.

"It was lots of fun," the 40-year-old Sertich said.

Brad Elliott Schlossman

Schlossman is in his 13th year covering college hockey for the Herald. In 2016 and 2018, he was named the top beat writer in the country by the Associated Press Sports Editors. He also was the NCHC's inaugural Media Excellence Award winner in 2018. Schlossman has voted in the national college hockey poll since 2007 and has served as a member of the Hobey Baker and Patty Kazmaier Award committees.

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