Regular hockey season begins |

Regular hockey season begins

Today marks the first day of regular-season ice hockey since South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena opened earlier this summer.

The 37,000 square foot NHL-size facility has received glowing reviews that have only become brighter now that the turnout for adult and youth hockey, which includes more than 200 participants among 18 teams, has been higher than in summer programs.

Combined with the addition of Sacramento State University’s hockey club making the Ice Arena its new home, many see the Ice Arena’s role in community and business affairs as a fledgling program that stands to make a big impact in years to come.

“I couldn’t be more excited about the new rink and the program they have there and the possibility of hosting teams from out of town,” said Dan Sherman, 34, goalie for the Lakers in their debut tonight at 9:15 p.m. against the Storm.

Sherman’s team plans to be one of 13 adult ice hockey teams playing in a highly competitive tournament in Jackson Hole, Wyo., hosted by the Jackson Hole Moose hockey program later this fall.

Far more teams planned to attend the tournament than could play. Sherman hopes the South Lake Tahoe facility could be the kind of destination and facility to attract teams from far and wide.

“I think the future is very bright for that rink down there,” he said.

The Lakers are two of nine teams in the adult hockey program. The season extends into December. Each team plays 12 games.

Adult games will take place on Wednesday and Thursday nights as well, but will start at 5:30 p.m. starting next Wednesday, with the late game at 9:15 p.m.

The real hockey bang will take place this weekend, when the nine youth hockey teams take to the ice for the first time, as do the Sacramento State Hornets.

Youth hockey teams will have between one and three games in three conferences over the weekend depending on the schedule.

The Hornets, who will play a free tournament with Santa Rosa Junior College this weekend to promote hockey in the region, will have their share of the ice time with games on Friday and Saturday night and Sunday morning.

The program hopes its fans and opponents will look at the the Tahoe facility as a fun and exciting change from playing in the greater Sacramento region.

“I’m hearing a lot of good things about Sac. State, so hopefully a lot of people will come out and support us,” said Chris Perry, recreation coordinator for the ice arena and team captain with the Hornets.

The Hornets open their regular season Saturday, Oct. 12 against rivals U.C. Davis at 5:15 p.m. Admission prices are $5. Children under 12 are free. Discounted season tickets are available.

For more information about hockey programs or schedules, call (530) 542-0277.

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