Roaming The Rinks

One hockey fan's journey to the arenas of North America

Roaming The Rinks Blog


Posted by roamingtherinks on September 5, 2013 at 9:10 PM

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:


Previously unveiled members of the FUN FIFTEEN ARENA COUNTDOWN:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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