Be Here to Believe It: A Hockey Night in Rostraver

The Rostraver Ice Garden has won the title of Hockeytown USA and wins $150,000 for arena upgrades.

The Rostraver Township ice rink and arena is this year’s winner of the Kraft Hockeyville competition, which comes with a $150,000 reward toward arena upgrades.

“It’s amazing because this place is going to be new again, and I hope people come in and make this organization huge again,” Mon Valley Thunder hockey player Sydney Banasick told KDKA.

Each year, voters award the title of Kraft Hockeyville USA to a town crazy for the sport and with a rink that reinforces its enthusiasm. Previous winners include the Cambria County War Memorial Arena in Johnstown.

The Rostraver Ice Garden hosts local hockey teams such as the Mon Valley Thunder, a youth hockey program for kids of all ages.

The $150,000 prize will be used to update the lighting, flooring and provide a new air-compressor to cool the 52-year-old rink.

“I have never gotten anything free in my entire life,” Rostraver Ice Garden President Jim Murphy says. “When they announced it was a beautiful thing. It was like hitting the lottery.”

Not everything will be replaced. The original scoreboard, which survived the roof collapse, remains above center ice as a symbol of arena’s resilience.
During the 1970s, the Pittsburgh Penguins used the rink during training camp. Now the team will be making a return visit. As part of the Kraft Hockeyville win, the arena will host the Pens vs. St. Louis Blue pre-season game on Sept. 24.


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