Friday, June 19, 2009


One of the interesting aspects of college hockey has to be the different dimensions that you see at various rinks.

While most college rinks are NHL-sized (200 feet long by 85 wide), some facilities have Olympic-sized surfaces (200 by 100), and others -- like the current DECC -- are even smaller than the NHL standard.

It's like going to a baseball stadium. You adjust your play for the size of the field. You are more apt to swing for the fences when the wind is blowing out at Wrigley than you are at any time when hitting in San Diego or at the Mets' new yard.

One of the more well-known Olympic-sized rinks in college hockey is Mariucci Arena in Minneapolis, the home of the Gophers.

Well, it's Olympic-sized for now. There is talk of potentially shrinking the ice surface and adding seats.
While no time frame or budget number was included in the the Faculty, Staff, and Student Affairs Committee's report to to the board of regents, the men's hockey staff did express an interest in using fund raising dollars to reduce the size of the ice surface at Mariucci Arena by moving the dasher boards in and adding one row of seats to the seating bowl. They noted this would provide for a more exciting game and generate additional departmental revenues.
It's an interesting concept.

From the sounds of it, this isn't a concept driven by revenue. Instead, someone thinks this is going to make the hockey better.

You never would have heard this type of talk ten years ago, which shows you how the game has progressed.

Frankly, I don't mind the oddly-sized surfaces. I think it adds a bit of flavor and character to certain rinks.

No matter what happens, let it be known that the best game ever played in that facility didn't involve the Gophers.

(WARNING: Gratuitous YouTube posting ahead!)

OK. Maybe this wasn't the best ever at Mariucci. It's the best one I ever saw in that building, though, and that should count for something.

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