With the conclusion of the 2018 season looming – the final New England Pro-Am Hockey tournament less than a week away – work has begun and sights are moving toward the 2019 season.
With the coming transition, league president Mike O’Connell, Sr., has announced that, along with the renowned Foxboro Sports Center, New England Pro-Am Hockey has officially entered into long-term contracts with two state-of-the art hockey facilities: the Canton Ice House in Canton, MA, as well as New England Sports Village in Attleboro, MA.
“We are always looking to improve our tournaments, and – most importantly – the experience for our players, coaches, scouts and families,” O’Connell said. “Entering into these long-term contracts with the Foxboro Sports Center and two brand new, cutting edge facilities is what is best for our customers and what they have come to expect from our tournaments.
“These new facilities will not just help us continue to provide the best possible experience for our customers, but also bring all Pro-Am tournaments to a whole new level, as we feel these modern, dual-sheet arenas are amongst the best in eastern Massachusetts.”
In partnering with these facilities and bringing the league’s Pre-Draft and Chowder Cup tournaments into the modern venues, O’Connell, Sr., along with Director of Hockey Operations Mike O’Connell, Jr., were not returning to Rodman Arena (formerly Iorio Arena) following the 2017 season.
The Canton Ice House features two NHL-sized rinks, with the main rink having 650 seats and the secondary rink holding 450 seats. In addition to spacious locker rooms and benches large enough to accommodate junior teams, the facility also features a conference room, game room, two golf simulators, a fully equipped gym, Pro Shop, as well as all staff trained in Precision Edge skate sharpening for both player and goalie skates.
On the Ice House’s second floor is The Café, run by Joe Lastorio, former owner of Astorio Restaurant. Teams participating in NE Pro-Am tournaments will be able to order from The Café’s pizza or pasta dinner menus and eat in the adjacent conference room. Both of the facilities ice surfaces can be viewed from the Café area.
New England Sports Village (NESV) also has two NHL-sized rinks. Both rinks have heated seating area, the premier rink holding 750 people and secondary with seats for 250. Like the Ice House, the Sports Village also has large dressing rooms and bench areas to accommodate junior teams, as well as a spacious Pro Shop. The rink also features a Family Entertainment Center for kids, workout areas and changing areas for babies. It is also the only rink in Massachusetts with an on-site Dunkin Donuts.