EHHS Hockey Team: Back for the Season… but not at Veterans Memorial Ice Rink

The EHHS Hockey team is back for the season but has been displaced because the home rink was shut down last year. Due to this reason, they will practice in the Northford Ice Pavilion rink located in North Branford, CT.

According to EHHS senior and Hockey team Captain, Michael Robert, in this school year (2021-2022), the hockey team has to practice in Northford because the ice rink was broken. Michael states “Our Home rink has been broken since the beginning of last year’s season. Ever since, we’ve had to practice in Northford, which is about a 25-minute drive compared to 5 for our home ice rink”.

Although the rink was broken, the EHHS hockey team has to play in the Northford Ice Pavilion rink. Some of the members believe their team will have a new rink next year. There has been some construction going on for the new rink, and some rumors have been spread around about how the team would have a new rink this season. Michael stated “I believe this year they secured funding for the rink and began construction but I don’t think it will be complete until next year. However, last year, I heard rumors that the rink will be ready for this season, which it is not, so I take all new rumors with a grain of salt.”

Team members were upset that they have to go to a different location 6 days a week for practice and games. As stated by Michael, “We practice 4-5 days a week and 1-2 games per week. Either way, it’s 6 days on the ice per week and one day off. It’s a very intense and very high commitment.” Their practice consists of practicing skating and also training for strength and conditioning.

Eight freshmen joined the hockey team this season and five seniors contribute to the team. EHHS hockey team also co-op with 3-4 other teams including Clinton, Valley, Lyme/Old Lyme, and other towns. Lou Pane is the Head Coach this year along with Ben Fronte, Billy Demitriodis, and George Durso as his assistants. Other staff is ATC Marc Aceto, the team manager Jason Pierce, and film crew Mike Amento and Rob Becker. Together they lead the team of 27 hockey players.

The team will continue to play this season despite COVID-19. Compared to last year, this year’s COVID-19 restrictions and regulations are more flexible. Last year, the season was shortened and the team was required to wear masks while on the ice. This year team members are only required to wear masks on the bus and in the locker rooms. As long as the players are vaccinated, they are free to go, no masks required on the ice. According to Ryan Sheldon, an EHHS senior and the hockey team goalie, “If you are quarantined but vaccinated, you don’t have to quarantine.”

Keep your eyes out for the upcoming game between Varsity Boy Ice Hockey and Woodstock on Monday, December 20, 2021, at Northford Ice Pavilion, 24 Fire-Lite Pl, Northford, CT 06472.