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Plus/Minus Arena Report: 2015-2016 Preseason

Posted by roamingtherinks on July 26, 2015 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (1)

We've decided to help arena roaming fans keep track of new arena opportunities, as well as those venues that may end up with new hockey tenants, or end up closing or vacant this upcoming season. We'll have a series of reports as the season gets closer.  For this edition we anaylze the preseason in the CHL, and check out the opportunity fans have to attend arenas in places where they otherwise may not have a chance to watch big-time hockey.  Some of the alternate venues are one-off games in small town arenas, whereas some have turned into annual traditions where fans can count on some Major Junior preseason action.  Many of these arenas are home to Junior A or other teams, whereas are few have no "countable" hockey other than these preseason games.  Here's what is on tap this preseason-

 

WHL:  The Western League will provide quite a few opportunities for fans to check out their teams at alternate locations this preseason.  Here a list of the venues and dates-


Servus Credit Union Place,              St. Albert, AB,                     Red Deer vs Edmonton            September 5th

Servus Credit Union Place,              St. Albert, AB                     Calgary vs Edmonton                September 12th

Ladner Leisure Centre,                     Delta, BC                           Kamloops vs Vancouver            September 5th

Ladner Leisure Centre                      Delta, BC                           Victoria vs Vancouver                 September 12th

Centennial Civic Arena                     Lloydminster, AB               Saskatoon vs Edmonton             September 6th

Coaldale Sportsplex                         Coaldale, AB                     Swift Current vs Lethbridge         September 11th

Ralston Community Centre               Ralston, AB                       Moose Jaw vs Medicine Hat      September 11th

Legends Centre                                 Warman, SK                     Prince Albert vs Saskatoon         September 12th

Crowsnest Pass Sports Complex       Coleman, AB                    Lethbridge vs Kootenay              September 17th

Crowsnest Pass Sports Complex       Coleman, AB                   Calgary vs Kootenay                    September 19th

Langley Sports Complex                    Langley, BC                     Kelowna vs Vancouver                September 18th

Stettlet Recreation Centre                  Stettler, AB                       Medicine Hat vs Red Deer          September 19th


OHL:  The OHL has a pair of new teams coming on board this season, and also has quite a few opportunities to catch some action at alternate arenas.  The dates and locations are-


Andreychuk Mountain Arena             Hamilton, ON                 Peterborough vs Hamilton             September 5th

G. Rickard Recreation Complex        Bowmansville, ON         Niagara vs Oshawa                        September 8th

Beamsville Centennial Centre            Beamsville, ON             Windsor vs Niagara                        September 16th

MasterCard Centre                            Toronto, ON                   Kitchener vs Mississauga               September 18th

William Allman Arena                         Stratford, ON                  Erie vs London                               September 19th

Ajax Community Centre                     Ajax, ON                         Hamilton vs Oshawa                      September 19th

McMorran Place Arena                      Port Huron, ON              Flint vs Sarnia                                 September 20th

Burlington Central Arena                   Burlington, ON               Erie vs Hamilton                              September 20th

Sixteen Mile Sports Complex            Oakville, ON                  Guelph vs Mississauga                   September 20th


           

McMorran Place Arena in Port Huron, Michigan will be one of the unusual locations that fans can see Major Junior preseason action this fall.


QMJHL:  The Q starts the earliest of the 3 CHL leagues, and allows for a summertime hockey fix if you are so enclined.  Alternate locations for QMJHL preseason games range from resort island locations to working class suburban Montreal arenas.  Here's where you'll find preseason Q action at alternate venues-


Complexe Alphonse-Desjardins               Trois-Rivieres, QC                     Victoriaville vs Shawinigan           August 13th

Pownal Sports Centre                                St. Alexander, PE                      Saint John vs Charlottetown       August 15th

Pownal Sports Centre                                 St. Aexander, PE                      Cape Breton vs Charlottetown    August 21st

Arena Pete Morin                                         Lachine, QC                               Sherbrooke vs Victoriaville         August 15th

Halifax Forum                                               Halifax, NS                                 Cape Breton vs Halifax               August 15th

Halifax Forum                                               Halifax, NS                                 Cape Breton vs Halifax              September 3rd

Complexe Multidisciplinaire                       Ancienne-Lorette, QC                  Rimouski vs Quebec                  August 15th

Complexe Multidisciplinaire                       Ancienne-Lorette, QC                  Chicoutimi vs Quebec                 August 21st

Red Ball Internet Centre                            Moncton, NB                                Halifax vs Moncton                     August 16th

Colisee Jean Beliveau                               Longueuil, QC                              Shawinigan vs Victoriaville         August 22nd

Rath Eastlink Community Centre              Truro, NS                                      Charlottetown vs Haifax             August 22nd

Centre Jacques Lesage                              Mont-Laurier, QC                        Blainville Brois. vs Val D'or        August 22nd

Murray Community Centre                         Springhill, NS                               Acadie Bathurst vs Moncton      August 23rd

Emera Centre Northside                              North Sydney, NS                       Halifax vs Cape Breton              August 23rd

JK Irving Centre                                          Bouctouche, NB                          Saint John vs Moncton               August 28th

Memorial Civic Centre                                Campbellton, NB                         Rimouski vs Acadie Bathurst      August 28th

Colisee Albin-Aucoin                                  Iles de la Madeleine, QC             Charlottetown vs Quebec            August 28th

Colisee Albin-Aucoin                                  Iles de la Madeleine, QC              Charlottetown vs Quebec           August 28th


You may not have thought about catching preseason hockey at alternate venues, but it provides a chance to see hockey in locations you may otherwise not be able to, allows for an early season hockey fix, and often allows you to experience big-time hockey in a much more intimate setting than you would see in the regular season.  With locations such as Crowsnest Pass, Alberta, and Iles de la Madeleine, Quebec, you may also find yourself in a destination you may not otherwise consider during the dead of Winter.  Throw  in a chance to see such great venues as Allman Arena in Stratford, Ontario, or even the return of the Q to Longueuil, Quebec and you have the recipe for some fun.

A lot can happen between now and when the puck drops on the season. We'll keep you posted. Look for more Plus/Minus Arena Reports covering juniors, college, pro, and even some semi-pro leagues and venues.



Plus/Minus Arena Report: 2015-2016, Major Junior

Posted by roamingtherinks on July 4, 2015 at 2:00 PM Comments comments (0)

We've decided to help arena roaming fans keep track of new arena opportunities, as well as those venues that may end up with new hockey tenants, or end up closing or vacant this upcoming season. We'll have a series of reports as the season gets closer.  This time we'll focus on the 4 best Junior leagues in North America 
 

 

WHL: Plus -   Medicine Hat Regional Event Centre     Medicine Hat Tigers

Minus-            Medicine Hat Arena      Medicine Hat Tigers


In the Western League this upcoming season there will be no new franchises, but Medicine Hat gets a new venue, with the new arena replacing the 1970 era barn in Southeastern Alberta. 


OHL:  Plus -  Perani Arena             Flint Firebirds 

                       FirstOntario Centre      Hamilton Bulldogs

Minus-           Compuware Arena         Plymouth Whalers

                       Yardmen Arena               Belleville Bulls         


The OHL sees a couple of changes due to relocations this upcoming season.  Belleville loses their team as the OHL moves into Hamilton in place of the AHL Bulldogs.  Plymouth vacates its arena as the USHL moves in, and the franchise moves across Michigan to Flint, and becomes the Firebirds.  Sadly it looks like Yardmen Arena will be without a major tenant as, although the OJHL would be an obvious fit, 2 nearby OJHL teams in Wellington and Trenton would have that market clogged with 3 teams within a 20 minute drive.  Here's hoping the fine folks of Belleville get another team of some sort in the near future


            

This upcoming season will find Yardmen Arena in Belleville, Ontario without a Junior team to skate on its Olympic sized ice


QMJHL:  Plus-   Centre Videotron        Quebec Remparts

Minus-                Colisee Pepsi            Quebec Remparts


The only change in the Q finds the closure of the classic Colisee Pepsi, former home of the Quebec Nordiques and most recent Memorial Cup location, as the Remparts move into the state of the art Centre Videotron, which was built in hopes of luring the NHL back to Quebec. 


USHL:  Plus-      USA Hockey Arena             USNTDP Team USA

Minus-                 Ann Arbor Ice Cube            USNTDP Team USA

 

Yes, we know that the USHL is not techinically major junior, but it is the premier league in the States.  This upcoming season the Team USA squad moves out of the small community arena in Ann Arbor and takes over what was known as Compuware Arena in this odd switch from the OHL to the USHL in Plymouth.  We'll see if fans take to the USHL product in Plymouth once the season gets underway

   

A lot can happen between now and when the puck drops on the season. We'll keep you posted. Look for more Plus/Minus Arena Reports covering juniors, college, pro, and even some semi-pro leagues and venues.

 

Plus/Minus Arena Report: 2015-2016, The Pros

Posted by roamingtherinks on June 1, 2015 at 1:10 PM Comments comments (2)

We've decided to help arena roaming fans keep track of new arena opportunities, as well as those venues that may end up with new hockey tenants, or end up closing or vacant this upcoming season.  We'll have a series of reports as the season gets closer, but decided we would start with the major North American pro leagues in our first report.  We'll break things down league-by-league and let you know what to expect for next season.  


NHL:   Plus   -  Barclay's Center, Brooklyn, NY    NY Islanders

            Minus - Nassau Coliseum,  Uniondale, NY  NY Islanders


The only change in the NHL for next season will see the Islanders vacating the building where they claimed 4 Stanley Cups and moving to Brooklyn into the basketball designed Barclays Center


AHL:  Plus -  Stockton Arena, Stockton, CA   Stockton Heat

                       Citizens Business Bank Arena,  Ontario, CA   Ontario Reign

                        Valley View Casion Center,  San Diego, CA   San Diego Gulls

                        Rabobank Arena,  Bakersfield, CA   Bakersfield Condors

                        MTS Centre,  Winnipeg, MB  Manitoba Moose

                        SAP Center,  San Jose, CA   San Jose Barracuda

       Minus -   Glens Falls Civic Center,  Glens Falls, NY   Adirondack Flames

                        DCU Center,  Worcester, MA   Worcester Sharks

                        Norfolk Scope,  Norfolk, VA   Norfolk Admirals

                        Verizon Wireless Arena,  Manchester, NH   Manchester Monarchs

                        Cox Convention Center,  Oklahoma City, OK   Oklahoma City Barons

                        FirstOntario Centre,  Hamilton, ON   Hamilton Bulldogs


You've all read about the shakeup with the AHL and the creation of the Pacific Division.  With this westward movement you will find the ECHL moving into a trio of East Coast cities, 2 AHL teams sharing a venue with their parent club in Winnipeg and San Jose, and hockey returning to San Diego for the first time since 2006. Hamilton will be backfilled by an OHL team which will take over the Bulldog identity and should provide Hamilton fans with quality hockey.  Sadly OKC and Worcester look to be without a team in their venues this upcoming season.  

                

Worcester's DCU Center will be without a hockey tenant this upcoming season


ECHL:  Plus -   Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY   Adirondack Thunder

                           Verizon Wireless Arena,  Manchester, NH   Manchester Monarchs

                           Norfolk Scope,  Norfolk, VA   Norfolk Adimrals

            Minus -  Citizens Business Bank Arena,  Ontario, CA   Ontario Reign

                            Stockton Arena,  Stockton, CA   Stockton Thunder

                            Rabobank Arena,  Bakersfield, CA   Bakersfield Condors


Tied in with the AHL Western movement, the ECHL essentially swaps 3 Western teams for 3 Eastern AHL markets.  As of now no other teams are listed as folding or joining, but last season the CHL was absorbed into the league just as training camps were about to start, so there could be more movement among ECHL franchises.  If so we'll keep you posted.


     Bonus Plus-  Herb  Brooks Arena Lake Placid, NY   Adirondack Thunder


One interesting arena opportunity presents itself in the ECHL this upcoming season as Adirondack is scheduled to play at the historic Olympic venue on March 13th.  This would make for a rare pro hockey contest in Lake Placid. 


SPHL:  Plus -     Macon Coliseum,  Macon, GA   Macon Mayhem


As of yet the only change announced in the SPHL has been the announcement of the return of hockey to the Macon Coliseum, former home of the Macon Whoopee.  We'll see if anything else changes as the season approaches.  


A lot can happen between now and when the puck drops on the season.  We'll keep you posted.  Look for more Plus/Minus Arena Reports covering juniors, college, pro, and even some semi-pro leagues and venues.  

       

       

Free Agent

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 31, 2014 at 11:00 AM Comments comments (0)

free a·gent

noun

a person who does not have any commitments that restrict their actions.

The phrase free agent is best known as a sports term, but will accurately describe the changes that at coming here at RTR for the upcoming season.  If you've been a reader of the site for any length of time you have probably picked up on the fact that our travel schedule has, since the inception of Roaming The Rinks, always been planned around our attendance at Elmira Jackals games.  We have had season tickets since moving to the area, and would not miss more than a couple of the 36 scheduled home games each season.  This year we are  forgoing following the Jackals and concentrating on chasing new adventures and bringing you along for the ride.  We wish the Jackals well, but have just grown tired of the lack of physical play in the ECHL, the constant roster turnover, and getting emotionally invested in the outcome of games in a league where the goal is not to win, but rather to develop players for the next level.  We thought now is the perfect opportunity to make the jump and take a break  from the commitment of time, miles on the car (Elmira is not right around the corner, and is an hour round trip drive), and expense.  Where will we end up this season?  We'll plan that a few weeks ahead but hope to continue to experience hockey at all levels, from the big time AHL to the obscure, overlooked leagues in Quebec and other corners of the hockey world. 

   

So what does this all mean?  We will surely attend less game overall this upcoming season, but will focus on seeing games at new arenas, and also try to bring you more features such as the RTR Inside The Glass Series.  We hope to be able to attend more than the 12-18 new arenas we have been averaging for the last few seasons, and thus bring you more arena reviews than in the past.   We will also have the freedom to see one-off games at arenas, such as outdoor venues and alternate arenas, whereas in the past if they conflicted with our team's schedule we would not consider that option.   We're gonna wing it, check the schedules frequently, and point the car wherever we think we can have a fun hockey adventure.  We'll try to attend as many of the classic, older arenas as we can, and check out some newly constructed ones along the way as well.  We're free agents this year.  We'll go where we want, when we want, as long as there is fun and the lure of a new hockey arena involved.  We hope you'll stick with us on the journey. 

 

Monkeying Around With The Zambonis

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 5, 2014 at 6:10 PM Comments comments (0)

You're a hockey fan like I am.  You know the deal.  It's summertime, and summertime sucks.  Your Twitter feed is full on endless Tweets about random signings, and, even worse, rule changes that will make the game "safer" and less exciting.  You do have a few options in the summer though.  You could break out your LNAH fight DVD, or troll Youtube for highlights from your favorite team, or even play the movie Slap Shot or Youngblood on your computer screen.  Perhaps the coolest, most fun option is to simply hit play on a Zambonis song.  The Connecticut based hockey rockers have been mucking in the corners and patrolling the crease of the hockey music scene for over 2 decades, with the occasional breakaway goal, including appearances at the NHL All Star Fanfest and Frozen Four.  You've head their songs over the PA at your favorite hockey arena and you may not even know it.  They do it for fun, though, and could easily take their musical talents in a different direction seeking to have hits on mainstream radio.  Instead they do what they do, and bring joy to hockey fans everywhere.  Hockey is fun.  Rock music is fun (even with the occasional techno or country twist).  How could the combination of hockey and rock be anything but fun?  

 

The highlight of my summer so far was getting to see the Zambonis take the stage at the annual Dave Burke Memorial Hockey Tournament near Wilkes-Barre, PA.  What's a  two and a half hour drive to have as much fun as you would have at an actually pro hockey game?  The show can be labeled as nothing other than fun.  The band clearly enjoys playing, and enjoys hockey even more.  From classics like "Breakaway" to "Bob Marley and the Hartford Whalers" they rocked out for a solid hour and a half, complete with an appearance by the Hockey Monkey during the song of the same name.  During a quick break before they decided to go overtime and play a second set I had a chance to chat with the band, including frontman Dave Schneider and drummer Mat Orefice and talk hockey, hockey barns, travel and even old Soviet Arenas.  At that time I was offered the chance of a lifetime to don the Monkey Head and jersey and play the role of the Hockey Monkey in the second set.  On one hand I felt like a kid finding out the truth about Santa when I realized that the Hockey Monkey was not a real monkey, but I could not turn down the chance.  A few fist bumps with the crowd and counting out the chorus of "1-2-3 the kids love the monkey" with my fingers and my tenure as Hockey Monkey was over.  I was pumped up for the rest of the show and had an easy ride home from the buzz of having such a great time.  The boys in the band like to have fun, and that energy transcends to the crowd.  A full set of hockey rock classics with a couple cover tunes thrown in made for a hockey-centered evening where you could not help but look forward to fall and your favorite team hitting the ice.

So even though it is still summer, you can get your hockey fix easily by checking out the Zambonis site, ordering up a CD or downloading an album or 2.  Summer doesn't have to suck for hockey fans, and the cool thing is you can still listen to the band during hockey season.  If you have a chance to see the boys hop over the boards an onto the stage to take their shift at entertaining hockey fans I would recommend you do it.  Your favorite music artist may be Metallica, or the Ramones, or even Jason Aldean, but the Zambonis do one thing those guys simply don't do.  They write songs about hockey.  They write the songs and make them sound cool. Oh, and their mascot is probably cooler than your team's mascot too.  

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You can learn more about The Zambonis at  http://thezambonis.com/

Veteran of the Game

Posted by roamingtherinks on March 2, 2014 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

I am fortunate enough to have season tickets for the ECHL's Elmira Jackals, a team who makes it a point to honor local veterans, thanks to the help of the city's Ziff Law Firm.  Each game a veteran is honored and given free tickets, and introduced to the crowd during the second period, always to a standing ovation.  This is routine in Elmira, but a welcome part of the Jackals experience.  As a hockey fan who has attended hundreds of games, and travelled to over a hundred arenas to do so there are always those rare occurrences that you may see or experience, but are considered unlikely.  You know, things like a goalie fight, a 4 goal performance by a player, or a 15 round shootout.  Sometimes I've even been able to experience the joy of other fans who get a rare treat, such as the lady in Kalamazoo who took a zamboni ride on her 80th birthday.  When you get to experience one of these special events it makes for a memorable night.  

                                     

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Last night a Jackals loss was offset by being able to experience (in person) one of the coolest, and most emotional events which can happen at a sporting event.  The Veteran of the Game presentation actually took place on the ice at intermission, and started off with an "interview" of Army wife Brittany Daghita, who was supposed to speak about "something" as the microphone was just a ploy to get her on the ice so her husband, Army specialist Joey Daghita, could surprise her as he is home on leave from his third tour of duty in Kuwait.  Needless to say the reunion was emotional, and the crowd loved it.  This is one of those events you see on Youtube, or the news, but don't expect to experience in person.  Regardless of the score it was a great night at First Arena last evening.  Thank you for your service Mr. Daghita, and thanks to all of our veterans.  Thank you also to the Elmira Jackals and Ziff Law Firm, who allowed the fans in attendance to have a memorable night.       

 

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 1

Posted by roamingtherinks on September 13, 2013 at 9:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 1 - William Allman Memorial Arena in Stratford, Ontario, home of the Stratford Cullitons

We started Roaming The Rinks to document our journey to experience hockey at as many arenas as possible.  The ultimate prize at the end of the journey is finding a place that showcases the near-perfect hockey fan experience.  Arena # 1 on the list proves that you don't need an NHL sized arena, or NHL caliber players on the ice, to have just that.  The town of Stratford, on the Avon River, (the one in England) is best known as the home of William Shakespeare, who is synonymous with classic literature.  We could care less about some old playwright with tights and pointy shoes.  To us the word "Stratford" brings to mind a different kind of classic - the William Allman Memorial Arena.  This barn sits a high slapshot's distance from its own Avon River, and is a perfect example of how hockey is meant to be experienced.  It is not simply an arena that is preserved from times past.  It is actually a restored monument to the game that is so intertwined with Canadian culture that the game and country can hardly be separated.  It's as if not much has changed here since the 1924 arena opening, yet the classic features look almost spotlessly new.  Not only is this building remarkable to look at, the community support for the Cullitons rivals that of any other small town team in Canada, making for a dynamic fan atmosphere.  You may have to roam off the beaten hockey path to wind up in Stratford, but it is worth the trip, and worth skipping the more "big time" hockey options in Southern Ontario.  Attend a game here.  Experience hockey in an incredible setting.  Have fun doing it! 

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allmanarena.htm

                   


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 2 - Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, home of the Johnstown Chiefs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/cambriacounty.htm

Arena # 3 - Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario, home of the Kitchener Rangers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/kitchenermemorialaud.htm

Arena # 4 - Arena Jacques Plante in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Shawinigan Cataractes

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/arenajacquesplante.htm

Arena # 5 - Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/hersheyparkarena.htm

Arena # 6 - Frank Ritter Memorial Arena in Rochester, New York, home of the RIT Tigers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/frankritterarena.htm

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because, despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100),  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.          

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 2

Posted by roamingtherinks on September 5, 2013 at 9:10 PM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 2 - Cambria County War Memorial in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, home of the Johnstown Chiefs

Arena # 2 on the list is just one of those places that all hockey fans must visit.  We were fortunate enough to see the Chiefs play multiple times at this old barn, and now the fans in Johnstown have the Tomahawks of the NAHL to cheer for.  The War Memorial is nothing fancy, yet it fits the gritty nature of Johnstown to a T.  On our first visit there (before we even thought of the Roaming The Rinks concept) we fell in love with what this building had to offer.  Sitting in the top row as the linesmen skated out to check the nets and ice for warmups you could hear every carve of the skate blade.  Fans are that close to the action here. Factor in the fact that since the Charlestown Chiefs of Slap Shot played here and the movie was primarily shot here it makes for a fun evening anytime you can experiene a game in this setting.  You know you will be repeating movie quotes every chance you get too.  We salute not only the building, but the hockey fans of Johnstown, who are flat-out great.  With its proximity to Pittsburgh, Johnstown will always be a football town, but hockey has a special place here, and thankfully, (except for the removal of the wooden seats), folks can experience that unique, old-fashioned vibe for years to come hopefully.  Get to Johnstown some day and check out some "old time hockey".  Watching a game here is the best re-creation of a trip to the 70's that you could imagine.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/cambriacounty.htm

                  


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 3 - Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario, home of the Kitchener Rangers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/kitchenermemorialaud.htm

Arena # 4 - Arena Jacques Plante in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Shawinigan Cataractes

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/arenajacquesplante.htm

Arena # 5 - Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/hersheyparkarena.htm

Arena # 6 - Frank Ritter Memorial Arena in Rochester, New York, home of the RIT Tigers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/frankritterarena.htm

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.          

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN: ARENA # 3

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 30, 2013 at 7:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 3 - Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario, home of the Kitchener Rangers

We have read on other websites how the Aud in Kitchener is "the best arena in the OHL".  This naturally raises our expectations when you hear such high accolades, and often leads to disappointment when you actually experience the venue.  Simply put, Kitchener Memorial Auditorium is all of that and more.  Experiencing a game here, with its nearly always sold out crowds and passionate fans who are here to watch the game and cheer for the Rangers, rather than drink or socialize, makes for about as pure of a hockey fan experience as you will find.  The building does not have one feature that stands out.  It is not the newest, nor the oldest.  It is not the biggest, nor the most intimate.  The Aud simply has all of the intangibles that make it an incredible place to watch a hockey game.  If you wanted to take someone to one arena in their life to experience how hockey should be you would be safe if you took them to Kitchener.  Although they have added additional seating since our visit this place should still be on a "Must See" list for any hockey fan who has not had the pleasure of seeing the Rangers take to the ice here.  

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:   http://www.roamingtherinks.com/kitchenermemorialaud.htm  

               


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 4 - Arena Jacques Plante in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Shawinigan Cataractes

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/arenajacquesplante.htm

Arena # 5 - Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/hersheyparkarena.htm

Arena # 6 - Frank Ritter Memorial Arena in Rochester, New York, home of the RIT Tigers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/frankritterarena.htm

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.          

FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN : ARENA # 4

Posted by roamingtherinks on August 24, 2013 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Arena # 4 - Arena Jacques Plante in Shawinigan, Quebec, home of the Shawinigan Cataractes

Quebec is full of ancient, colorful, unique barns.  Arena Jacques Plante just happens to be the one that we have experienced which most closely embodied the perfect hockey fan experience.  This 1937 era art deco classic has the exterior look of a cathedral in many ways.  Its brick exterior and stately shape make it seem huge on the outside, but inside is as intimate of an arena as you will find, with 3,700 spectators packed into its colorful wooden bench seats, which seem to hang over the ice.  We were extremely thankful that we could experience this gem in its last season of use for QMJHL hockey.  Arena Jacques Plante went out on top though, as although weathered, the atmosphere inside even at the end was electric.  The sound of air horns and smell of beer mixed so well with the colorful and historic design of the arena that watching a Cataractes game was nearly as close as you could get to how hockey was 60-70 years ago.  It is for all of those reasons that Arena Jacques Plante has earned such a high ranking on the countdown.

Check out the full review and photo gallery at:  http://www.roamingtherinks.com/arenajacquesplante.htm

                 


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

Arena # 5 - Hersheypark Arena in Hershey, Pennsylvania, home of the Lebanon Valley College Flying Dutchmen

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/hersheyparkarena.htm

Arena # 6 - Frank Ritter Memorial Arena in Rochester, New York, home of the RIT Tigers

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/frankritterarena.htm

Arena # 7 - Herb Brooks Arena / 1980 Rink in Lake Placid, New York, home of the 2010 NCAA Division 3 Championship

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/herbbrooksarena.htm

Arena # 8 - Jack Gatecliff Arena in St. Catharines, Ontario, home of the Niagara IceDogs

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/jackgatecliff.htm

Arena # 9 - Galt Arena Gardens in Cambridge, Ontario, home of the Cambridge Winter Hawks

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/galtarenagardens.htm

Arena # 10 - Stade L.P. Gaucher in St.-Hyacinthe, Quebec, home of the St.-Hyacinthe Top Design

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/stadelpgaucher.htm

Arena # 11 - New York State Fairgrounds in Syracuse, New York, outdoor home of the Syracuse Crunch

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/nystatefairgrounds.htm

Arena # 12 - Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Fort Wayne, Indiana, home of the Fort Wayne Komets

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/allencountywarmem.htm

Arena # 13 - John Labatt Centre in London, Ontario, home of the London Knights

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/johnlabattcentre.htm

Arena # 14 - First Arena in Elmira, New York, home of the Elmira Jackals

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/firstarena.htm

Arena # 15 - Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, home of the Owen Sound Attack

http://www.roamingtherinks.com/bayshorecommunitycentr.htm



Stay tuned all summer as we unveil a new arena in the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN every Saturday. 

How it works-  Although we have seen lots of different venues we are not bold enough to say that this list is a list of "the best hockey arenas in North America" simply because despite seeing so many different arenas (over 100)  we have still experienced hockey at  small fraction of the places available to view big-time hockey.  Since the rankings all come from me you can be assured that the rankings will be consistent.  


What we consider when making the list-  There are a ton of factors to consider when ranking arenas.  Architecture,  fan experience, crowd support, the tradition of the particular hockey market in question, and most importantly atmosphere all come into play.  We don't attend games to check out the jumbotron, have a $5 hotdog, or get a bobblehead giveaway.  We attend games because we want to experience hockey in all of the ways it is presented.  What's most important when considering if an arena was a great one or not?  Well, if the place ties in most or all of the above listed attributes and you can say you had fun then it will surely be near the top.  We want fans to check out the reviews of these arenas and hopefully make plans to experience some of these places yourselves.  The most important factor is that intangible feeling that you get when you leave a great arena after the game and can say "that is what hockey is all about".  The fifteen arenas on this list will certainly have that X factor.     


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