The Inline Hockey Rink at Marine Corps Air Station New River reopened on May 20 following a two-week closure for floor resurfacing. The new surface replaced a similar type of tile that had been the rink’s floor for nine years. New River Sports Coordinator Chris Miller says the new floor will give skaters more grip and, as a result, improve player safety.
“The rink is open to all authorized patrons for use for skating, inline hockey and deck hockey,” Miller said. “Whether it be a league, a unit doing PT or an individual or a small group coming out for some exercise, all of those patrons will benefit from the new surface.”
The New River Inline Hockey League resumed regular season play on May 30 and will have playoffs in late June. The Raptors have a slim lead over Dirty Mike and the Boys (DMATB) going into the four-team league’s final regular season games.
“The old surface was really hard to skate on,” said DMATB team coach Hospitalman First Class Brad Erickson who has been playing hockey at the inline rink for nearly a decade. “It had no grip left so we would always slip.”
The Warlocks’ team coach SSgt. Albert Finan, 8th Engineer Support Battalion, says there is some good and some bad when it comes to the new floor. Since the surface is so new and still sticky, the puck won’t glide on the surface very well. Instead, it rolls and tumbles, so controlling the puck has been a challenge for the players. However, since the new floor is a darker than the old one, sun glare is no longer an issue.
“The top-two teams are good,” Finan, who is in his second season in the league, said. “They have veteran-type guys that are very seasoned players and have been playing hockey since they were kids.”
The Inline Hockey Rink at New River is a regulation-sized outdoor, uncovered hockey rink that can be reserved in advance throughout the year. All players are required to wear protective gear. The rink is located next to the Skate Park on Agan Street on MCAS New River.
To contact the New River Inline Hockey Rink, call 910-449-0294.