Here’s the story that ran in today’s paper … As for my thoughts on the matter, if you read the blog you know I’m not a big fan of West Point. There’s no question it’s the best facility in the region and I’m certain the players love competing in that arena. It’s certainly media friendly. My problem is the fact that we’ve never had a championship atmosphere in that rink. Some of that it due to bad matchups. There are so many empty seats and the crowd is somewhat removed. Brewster Ice Arena is chilly and you can see the wear and tear, but with so many good teams we are probably going to have a couple of memorable championship games. The facility is easy access, so I’m expecting a big crowd. I’m hoping everyone will leave the rink buzzing about the noise level. If nothing else, this episode again highlights the lack of top shelf athletic facilities in the Lower Hudson Valley.
By Mike Dougherty
A scheduling conflict at West Point has forced Section 1 officials to find a new venue for the upcoming hockey championships.
Brewster Ice Arena will play host to the Feb. 24 title games.
The championships have been played at Tate Rink on the USMA campus since 2009, but the adjoining Christl Arena will be hosting Army-Navy wrestling that afternoon. Section 1 officials were notified of the issue earlier in the school year and requested bids from the only two local facilities with enough parking and seating to host.
Playland is off line until next fall due to damage from Superstorm Sandy.
Sport-O-Rama in Monsey also submitted a bid. The final decision was made by the Section 1 Championship Committee, and school athletic directors signed off last week.
An e-mail informing coaches of the move went out Tuesday.
“I’m good with it,” said Pelham coach Ed Witz, whose team has won back-to-back Division 2 titles. “We just want to get there. I liked West Point, it was a special place to do the game, but for me as a coach, they could play the game in a parking lot in Pelham and I’d be good with it. We just want to get there. I think it will be fine (at Brewster) unless there’s a home team there.”
Brewster Ice Arena will be installing temporary bleachers in the 98 Rink to increase capacity to 800 seats. The facility, which is located on Fields Lane, minutes off Interstate 684, has enough parking for 525 cars.
“We’re very excited,” rink owner and Kennedy/Putnam Valley/Haldane coach Steve Santini said. “We’re home to 13 high school teams. We’ve hosted a number of the outbracket games over the years, but I remember one in the late ’90s between Fox Lane and Beekman where the rink was just packed. It was a great atmosphere, so I assume this will be as good or better.”