CANTON, N.Y. (WWNY) - Saturday afternoon, one of the most historic hockey rinks in Division 1 hockey re-opened as St. Lawrence University’s Appleton Arena hosted it’s first hockey game in nearly a year.
Hockey returned to Appleton Arena exactly 10 months after renovations to the 69 year old arena began with the Lady Saints of St. Lawrence shutting out their rivals from up Route 11, Clarkson, 1-0.
After several delays due to construction, fans in attendance were finally able to see firsthand how the legendary arena had been transformed into a state of the art facility while still keeping some of it’s historic charm.
“Appleton Arena is one of our most cherished heritage buildings. So part of the design was to try to keep the history and tradition of the blue land beams and the bowl and our seating just like it is. You know, Appleton’s really, you know, one of the few rinks that you’ll ever see like this again so that was a really important factor in our design,” said Bob Durocher, St. Lawrence University’s Athletic Director.
Behind the scenes some important updates were made as well. From the new press box, to a strength and conditioning room that women’s coach Chris Wells feels will help enhance both the men’s and the women’s hockey programs along with the other sports at St. Lawrence.
“I think one of the biggest things is the strength and conditioning room. In total, it’s gonna be about ten thousand square feet for Division 3 and Division 1 athletes and the hockey team will have about four thousand square feet of that. And to be able to use that facility and develop our players, and have them recover, and be able to be in the fittest condition that they can to play is a big boost,” said Wells.
It is a boost the university, it’s players, and fans hope brings continued success for 69 more years.
Turning to the hardwood, we continue our look at area high school basketball teams by checking in on the Carthage Comets Boys Basketball Team.
Coach Jeff Ventiquattro’s team is off to a 4-6 start, 2-3 in conference play and 0-2 in divisional play.
The Comets have recorded wins over Mexico, Canton, I.H.C. and South Jeff this season and are riding a 2 game win streak heading into a Tuesday night road game at General Brown.
The players and coaches hope the success of the football team and their run to the state championship game can rub off on the basketball team.
“The kids who were on the football team have really brought a family first atmosphere to the basketball squad and they had so much confidence this fall and played with confidence and that’s carried over as well," said Ventiquattro.
“I feel like since football got over we just like jumped right in and like it’s been like no holding back. Everything we’ve got. We had a great season in football so we’re just trying to carry it over to basketball and we’re just trying to push every day and get better,” said Elijah Whitfield.
“4 out of the 5 players that are starting came from the football team so we had the confidence and momentum from going to the state championship and kinda representing Carthage so we had that momentum to carry into the basketball season and hang it on our shoulders,” said Zion Tevaga.