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Thread: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

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    Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    There's been some conversation in another thread about some rinks so I thought I'd start this thread. I've been to a lot of the rinks over the years, but there's still a lot I haven't been to yet. From the ones I have been to here are my favorites and some comments on others that I don't care for as much. Would love to see other people's lists. Remember, this is all just personal opinion, so there are no wrong posts. In no particular order, here goes:

    D1 Favorites:

    Princeton - love the history of the Hobey Baker Rink.
    Dartmouth - something about the bowl that I fell for at first sight.
    Harvard - it's Harvard!
    St. Lawrence - love how old-school it looks and feels.
    Vermont - similar to St. Lawrence, I've always liked the feeling there.

    D3 Favorites:

    Plattsburgh - there's an aura there, a very winning building for both the women and the men. You don't find that in too many places.
    Hamilton - why do I love the girders?!
    Williams - just a really nice sort of old-fashioned rink.
    Elmira - why do I love the football stadium lights even though they create shadows on the ice?!
    Adrian - nothing fancy, just simple and nice.

    D1 non-favorites:

    Mercyhurst - nice D3 rink.
    Syracuse - similar to Mercyhurst except there are many nicer D3 rinks out there.
    Clarkson - dead sounding rink. It looks nice but I don't like the feel of the place. Would rather be at St. Lawrence.
    Union - too big for the women's team.

    D3 non-favorites:

    Middlebury - it looks very nice but I don't like the feel of the place. Too big for D3 women's games. Maybe it feels different during men's games.
    Oswego - same thing as Middlebury.
    Castleton - too cold.
    Conn College - the worst for too many reasons to list.
    Southern Maine - it's like a public rink was built on their campus.
    Cortland - cold, dark and ugly.
    Potsdam - same thing as Cortland but maybe not quite as ugly.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by shelfit View Post
    There's been some conversation in another thread about some rinks so I thought I'd start this thread. I've been to a lot of the rinks over the years, but there's still a lot I haven't been to yet. From the ones I have been to here are my favorites and some comments on others that I don't care for as much. Would love to see other people's lists. Remember, this is all just personal opinion, so there are no wrong posts. In no particular order, here goes:

    D1 Favorites:

    Princeton - love the history of the Hobey Baker Rink.
    Dartmouth - something about the bowl that I fell for at first sight.
    Harvard - it's Harvard!
    St. Lawrence - love how old-school it looks and feels.
    Vermont - similar to St. Lawrence, I've always liked the feeling there.

    D3 Favorites:

    Plattsburgh - there's an aura there, a very winning building for both the women and the men. You don't find that in too many places.
    Hamilton - why do I love the girders?!
    Williams - just a really nice sort of old-fashioned rink.
    Elmira - why do I love the football stadium lights even though they create shadows on the ice?!
    Adrian - nothing fancy, just simple and nice.

    D1 non-favorites:

    Mercyhurst - nice D3 rink.
    Syracuse - similar to Mercyhurst except there are many nicer D3 rinks out there.
    Clarkson - dead sounding rink. It looks nice but I don't like the feel of the place. Would rather be at St. Lawrence.
    Union - too big for the women's team.

    D3 non-favorites:

    Middlebury - it looks very nice but I don't like the feel of the place. Too big for D3 women's games. Maybe it feels different during men's games.
    Oswego - same thing as Middlebury.
    Castleton - too cold.
    Conn College - the worst for too many reasons to list.
    Southern Maine - it's like a public rink was built on their campus.
    Cortland - cold, dark and ugly.
    Potsdam - same thing as Cortland but maybe not quite as ugly.
    Have been to most of these rinks and agree in most cases. Dartmouth may be my favourite. Right size for women's game and usually good crowd.

    Also like Princeton, and SLU in ECAC, for same reasons as you. I like the smaller, older rinks for the women's game, but I make an exception for UND (huge and over the top but still awe-inspiring).

    Dislike Yale...bad acoustics (unbearable if there is a band and a small crowd, which there always is for women's games). BC is too big. Don't like UNH because the Olympic ice surface is not well suited to the women's game IMO. Hated the old Colgate rink but I understand the new one is nice. Don't like the Union rink but surprised by your comment that it is too big...as I recall it is not a large rink. Love Houston Field House at RPI but you will recognize that as bias .

    As for D3, I agree that Williams has a nice feel to it. Manhattanville used to be a joke but I haven't been there since the renovations (due to Hurricane Sandy).
    Last edited by hab; 11-08-2017 at 02:35 PM.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    God, there are just too many rinks...

    The only D3 rink I've ever been to is Wesleyan for a men's game between Wesleyan and Stonehill. I have fond memories of learning how to skate there as a little kid.

    EDIT: I forgot I went to Trinity too for a men's game, also against Stonehill (my wife went to Stonehill). Trinity was nice.

    I'll just give every other women's hockey arena that I've been to a number from 1 to 10 (with 10 being the best). I'll omit schools like Lowell or UMass that don't have women's teams, plus men's-only rinks like Mariucci and Agganis.

    Minnesota -- 12. God I love this place.
    Northeastern -- 10. Beauty.
    Yale -- 9. I love me some Whale. That, friends, is how you college hockey.
    Maine -- 8. This is an arena that knows how to pull off "rinky dink piece of crap hockey dump" with charm. Bonus points for having to worry about your well-being if you sit in or underneath the balcony since it looks like it's going to collapse at any moment.
    Quinnipiac -- 8. Very nice. A bit sterile and plastic looking, but it's a good rink.
    Providence -- 6. You know, I feel like PC should have a better rating. But I can't shake the fact that there are too many railings that get in the way of your view. Holds a special place in my women's hockey loving heart as the place that started it all for me and Joe. That and Allie Thunstrom's fist of fury.
    Boston College -- 6. It's fine. Better with the new-ish scoreboards & banners plus all the extra color they added. Amazing what a new coat of paint will do. I think Conte is way too big for the coming years of nationally declining attendance in the men's game, let alone for a women's game.
    Clarkson -- 6. Bonus points for the ridiculously loud goal horn. I approve.
    St. Lawrence -- 6. So many of these ECAC rinks look the same.
    Vermont -- 6. Good when their men's hockey fans aren't there.
    Dartmouth -- 6. See SLU. This arena looks like every other ECAC rink (plus Vermont, which was ECAC when it was built I think). I don't dislike the look, though.
    New Hampshire -- 5. It's fine. Most of the problem centers around the people who go to games there, which is mostly a men's hockey problem. Still.
    Merrimack -- 4. Used to be an embarrassment. Now it at least looks nicer.
    Boston University -- 4. Its main positive is its rinky-dink feel. But it doesn't have the charm as some of the other rinky-dink arenas.
    Harvard -- 3. I don't get the appeal of this place.
    RPI -- 3. Went here for the first game my sophomore year (October 2007) because the game was moved from BC due to fog on the ice (lol). It was pretty dumpy. No idea if it's any different now. We won in overtime though so that was fun.
    Brown -- 3. Went there once a million years ago. It was unremarkable.
    UConn -- 1. This is an embarrassment to college hockey.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger20; 11-08-2017 at 02:47 PM.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by hab View Post
    Dislike Yale...bad acoustics (unbearable if there is a band and a small crowd, which there always is for women's games).
    Omg how can you think Yale has bad acoustics, the whole place is made of reverberating concrete and is shaped like a parabola...

    BC is too big.
    Yup.

    Don't like UNH because the Olympic ice surface is not well suited to the women's game IMO.
    This is an interesting point but IMO it might be more of a product of the home team that skates on it not being good anymore. If you take a run-and-gun team like BC and give them full-time access to the extra space that Olympic ice gives, it would suit their game pretty darn well.
    Last edited by TonyTheTiger20; 11-08-2017 at 02:54 PM.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger20 View Post
    Minnesota -- 12. God I love this place...
    No doubt, Gopher fans are pretty fortunate to able to watch games at Ridder.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    The Gut was in use when Vermont was playing D2 hockey

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by joecct View Post
    The Gut was in use when Vermont was playing D2 hockey
    Aren't they still?

    ZINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    [QUOTE=hab;6551615]

    Also like Princeton, and SLU in ECAC

    Dislike Yale...bad acoustics (unbearable if there is a band and a small crowd, which there always is for women's games).

    I love the rink at Princeton. Oddly, I've been to Clarkson, but only for playoff games, so never to SLU.

    Been to Yale many times for women's games and couldn't agree more: Horrible acoustics, hard to even carry on a conversation at times.

    Speaking of Yale, here's a funny one for you all to dissect: A local "Yellow Pages" phone book cover photo placed by Yale Athletics. Review and discuss...

    https://scontent.fbed1-2.fna.fbcdn.n...96&oe=5A9AB5A0

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rockytop View Post
    Speaking of Yale, here's a funny one for you all to dissect: A local "Yellow Pages" phone book cover photo placed by Yale Athletics. Review and discuss...

    https://scontent.fbed1-2.fna.fbcdn.n...96&oe=5A9AB5A0
    .........They're losing lol

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Hershey Park Arena, Lebanon Valley.

    Ball Game.
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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by PrezdeJohnson09 View Post
    Hershey Park Arena, Lebanon Valley.

    Ball Game.
    Whoa that place is sick

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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger20 View Post
    .........They're losing lol
    That's what I saw too. Lol. Trailing 2-0 to Q'pac. Too funny!

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    [QUOTE=Rockytop;6551696]
    Quote Originally Posted by hab View Post

    Also like Princeton, and SLU in ECAC

    Dislike Yale...bad acoustics (unbearable if there is a band and a small crowd, which there always is for women's games).

    I love the rink at Princeton. Oddly, I've been to Clarkson, but only for playoff games, so never to SLU.

    Been to Yale many times for women's games and couldn't agree more: Horrible acoustics, hard to even carry on a conversation at times.

    Speaking of Yale, here's a funny one for you all to dissect: A local "Yellow Pages" phone book cover photo placed by Yale Athletics. Review and discuss...

    https://scontent.fbed1-2.fna.fbcdn.n...96&oe=5A9AB5A0
    Looks like the bad guys (girls) just scored too.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    My Favorites (having seen men's and women's games in each except 1):

    1. SLU (Appleton) - yes, they're the arch-rivals but this old barn just bleeds hockey.
    2. Quinnipiac (TD Bank) - a great design for a modern sports complex and a great place for a national championship
    3. Clarkson (Cheel) - attendance at women's games is awful but the band supports the team and when they actually put people in there, the atmosphere is great
    4. Wherever in Missouri they had the 2017 Frozen Four - mainly because they have great winners

    Worst:
    1. Union (Achilles) - an embarrassment to college hockey
    2. RPI (HFH) - dump of all dumps, even with the new lipstick they put on the pig.
    3. Princeton (Hobey Baker) - tons of history ruined by an upgrade a few decades ago that made the place look worse
    4. BU (Walter Brown) - haven't been there in a few years, but when I was, it looked like they forgot it existed when they built Agganis.
    Clarkson Golden Knights Men
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    20 NCAA Tournament Appearances

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    ECAC Tournament Champs - 2017
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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Around the WCHA:

    1. Ridder Arena - It's the right size. The seats are comfortable. Its existence as a women's only arena means that the Gophers have a lot less of the inconvenient start times that other teams do. The one real downside is that the acoustics are terrible; no one understands much of what the PA announcer says. Easy winner.

    2. Amsoil Arena - Too big for the crowds the Dogs draw, but not as much as some. They use their video replay board well. Comfortable seating. Convenient to Canal Park for before and after game meals.

    The drop-off after these two is really big.

    3. Sanford Center - Way, way too big for the Bemidji crowds. Other than that, the arena itself is fine, if unremarkable. (Reminds me of Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, MI.) Eating options within walking distance are limited, but one of them is a Green Mill, so that's okay.

    4. Verizon Wireless - Pretty much the same as Sanford, except being an extra order of magnitude too large for the crowds. There are more close by eating options, but most of them aren't very good.

    5. LaBahn Arena - It's a great place to watch a game, except that the seats are so god****ed uncomfortable. They cheaped out building the place, and one of the ways they did so was making the benches too shallow.

    6. OSU Ice Arena - I have a friend who was a backup goalie for Michigan State back in the mid 1980s. When I talked to him about following women's hockey, he said, "They still use that place?" It is amusing watching the Buckeyes march through the lobby before and after periods as they go to and from their locker room in the building next door, so you could rank the joint higher just for the unintended comedy aspects.

    7. National Hockey Center - Just a dump. They put a big, fancy facade on the place a few years ago, which is like putting a Versace dress on a hippo. The seats are even more uncomfortable than those at LaBahn. It's also clear that the design was the winner in a contest among the junior year architecture students, and they don't learn how to do curved surfaces until senior year.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Walk in off the sidewalk in a nondescript part of town and there it is, Matthews Arena, a most improbable classic from another world (1910) . . . “the world’s oldest ice hockey arena.”

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    LaBahn LOOKS incredibly cheap. And I've never even been there.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger20 View Post
    LaBahn LOOKS incredibly cheap. And I've never even been there.
    I'll defend LaBahn as my home rink, although what I really love about it is the crowd. Nearly every game has some great fan energy. We have already had some sold out games this year. The seats are not too shallow for me, although I am rather small. I'll finally get to a game at Ridder this season for some comparison. Every Ridder game I have watched online looks pretty empty - even the WCHA championship. For a top-performing team, I'm surprised MN hasn't done more to build-up the fan base.

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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTheTiger20 View Post
    LaBahn LOOKS incredibly cheap. And I've never even been there.
    LaBahn looks like an arena where the budget was slashed midway through the process, so the buyer went back to the architect and just had him remove features until the price was right, w/o really redoing the plan. I agree that the crowd support is very good, but that just exacerbates the problem with the squished seating. The lighting during the day is pretty neat -- that must be the one big-buck item they elected to keep -- but most of the rest of it leaves you wondering what it would have looked like had somebody not opted for the cheap route. The advantages that Ridder has over LaBahn is that you can fit another ~ 1K people in there if you have to and the support upstairs to handle bigger events. The LaBahn press box is insufficient and there isn't anywhere to which one can overflow.

    Ridder should get dinged for expensive parking and concourse bottlenecks at concessions when the place is full.
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    Re: Favorite Rinks (D1 & D3)

    [QUOTE=Genbeau;6551715]
    Quote Originally Posted by Rockytop View Post

    Looks like the bad guys (girls) just scored too.

    Yes, and the Bobcats went on to win the game.

    Also, not a single Yale player in view, Photo of the QU bench and presumably the visitor's stands.

    Of course, Yale got the last laugh by beating QU in the National Championship game a few months later.

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