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Massena Arena prepares for Monday opening of ice season

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MASSENA - It won’t be long after the Massena Arena’s ice season opens that the first skaters will be lacing up and using it.

Recreation Superintendent Richard A. Boprey said that, based on the schedule he has now, it looks like it will be a busy season for the facility, including the arrival of the SUNY Potsdam Bears men’s hockey team for home games.

Their 2,500-seat arena at Maxcy Hall will be closed for renovations, meaning a relocation to the Massena Arena for 10 home games.

“Oct. 26 and 27 are their first two games” at the Massena Arena, Mr. Boprey said.

Massena Recreation Department employees have been busy this week preparing the ice for Monday’s opening. That preparation started following last weekend’s model railroad show and will continue through the week. They plan to paint the hockey lines on the ice today and then will add another coat of water to the surface.

Mr. Boprey said their schedule already includes their regular customers, which include Massena High School girls’ and boys’ hockey, Massena Minor Hockey Association, broomball and the Massena Figure Skating Club.

Other broomballers may also enter the picture , he said.

“I’ve had conversations with an entry-level women’s broomball league about ice availability. It’s very informal right now,” he said.

As empty ice time allows, Mr. Boprey also schedules recreational skating and, on days when school is not in session, the popular shinny hockey. Birthday parties are also held at the arena.

This year will feature two boys’ high school hockey tournaments and one girls’ high school hockey tournament, Mr. Boprey said.

It will unofficially be “hockey day in Massena” on Feb. 9 when the arena plays host for two boys’ high school hockey games in the afternoon and a SUNY Potsdam college game that night, he said.

“It’s going to be a full day of hockey activity in Massena,” according to the recreation superintendent.

The ice time is filling, and the calls continue to come in, Mr. Boprey said.

“I’ve had a few inquiries and bookings from outside organizations due to the refurbishing at Maxcy Hall,” he said, “and I’ve had a few Canadian inquiries.”

He has also booked two hours of ice time for the Ogdensburg Midgets because Ogdensburg’s ice won’t be in for another two weeks.

This year’s ice season will last until Easter weekend.

“We’ll pull the plug on April 1,” he said.

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