Tuckahoe got a special Christmas present this year, as village officials joined local hockey enthusiasts for the ceremonial grand opening of Home Ice Advantage, a mixed-use rink for both recreation and athletics.
Home Ice Advantage, one of the few of its kind in all of Westchester County, features a regulation sized 100-foot by 60-foot rink, as well as a smaller 28-foot by 41-foot studio rink that is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day.
“There aren’t many rinks in the area, so because of where Tuckahoe is situated, this location was ideal,” co-founder and hockey director Kevin Wright said. “It’s a perfect place for families to live, a great place to do business and a great place to play hockey.”
Wright noted that by utilizing the studio rink, Home Ice Advantage is unique from others in that it provides a greater opportunity for skill development of goalies and shooters. Those skills, when translated to the larger playing surface, will give players an advantage over their opponents.
Operations Manager Lee Corcoran Jr. noted that because of its meager size, his crew had to develop a way to clean the ice, since a zamboni is too large. He said that Home Ice has developed a way to resurface by hand in approximately 15 minutes.
“We’ve seen the kids on a consistent basis, developing small game area skills and when they take that out on to a larger ice surface, they can dominate a hockey game because they have the skills to do it in close quarters,” he said. “So when they take it on ice, they’re pretty impressive.”
At the grand opening, Mayor Steve Ecklond said that technically, this isn’t the village’s first ice skating surface.
“When I say this is the first, it’s the first official rink. Everyone can remember the days of our youth when the Fire Department would freeze (Oval Parkway) up in the winter,” he said. “It’s nice that in our warmer climate, Tuckahoe has it’s own ‘home ice advantage.’”
According to Wright, Home Ice Advantage is about more than being a business or recreation spot; it’s about developing and fostering local hockey talent. Presently, he donates free ice time to local youth teams and the Fordham Prep hockey team.
“We’re happy to donate rink time, it’s about growing hockey in the area, so we gave them free time,” he said. “Hopefully a bunch of really good hockey players are going to start coming out of this program.”
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