Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Kraft Hockeyville (TM) USA 2017 award is coming back to Western PA!

Congratulations to the Rostraver Ice Garden in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania, which was named today as the winner in the Kraft Hockeyville (TM) USA 2017 competition!

The facility will receive $150,000 in arena upgrades and have the opportunity to host an NHL 2017-2018 preseason game in their facility.

The runner-up, the Bloomington Ice Garden in Bloomington, Minnesota, will receive $75,000 for upgrades to their facility. Kraft will also give money to the facilities who made it to the top 10 in earlier voting including two prizes of $25,000 and six of $10,000.

The Rostraver Ice Garden has faced adversity in the past several years because of facility issues. In 2010, part of the roof collapsed due to heavy snow, but 8 months later the rink reopened with a new roof to continue to serve their community.

During the 1970's the rink was used as a training camp facility for the Pittsburgh Penguins. Many other professional sports franchises have come and gone through the years, including the Mon Valley Thunder of the Mid-Atlantic Hockey League, the Pittsburgh RiverRats of the American Indoor Football Association, and the Steel City Warriors of the Federal Hockey League. Currently the Ice Garden is home to the California University of Pennsylvania's men's and women's ACHA hockey teams, as well as a second men's club team playing in the NCHA. The Mon Valley Thunder youth hockey program calls the Ice Garden home, as well as many local high school programs such as Elizabeth Forward, Serra Catholic, Baldwin, Bethel Park, and Belle Vernon.

Rostraver was one of over 1,300 communities from across the country to submit entries this year, and this is the 2nd time in the 3 years of the USA competition that a community ice rink from Western Pennsylvania has come out on top in the online voting. The 2015 winner was the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown, PA (the facility where the movie "Slapshot" was filmed) and the 2016 winner was Lakeview Arena in Marquette, Michigan.

In related news, the NHL also announced today that the preseason game to be played at the winning facility is set to be between the St. Louis Blues and the Pittsburgh Penguins and will be broadcast on NBCSN. Kudos to Kraft, the NHL, and the NHL Players Association for supporting this program to support community rinks and grow the sport of hockey!!!

1 comment:

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