POTSDAM – Sen. Patti Ritchie dropped the puck as SUNY Potsdam celebrated the grand re-opening of the renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena Nov. 2. with men's and women's home-opening games.
Festivities began with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony of the 1995-96 SUNYAC champions men’s ice hockey team into the Bears Hall of Fame.
A pre-game ceremony took place at center ice, prior to the women's contest against Saint Michael's College. Following the women's game, there was a special post-game reception for players, their families and alumni in Maxcy's Welsh Gymnasium.
Sen. Ritchie returned to her alma mater to ceremonially drop the puck and kick off the men's game against the University of New England.
A member of the Higher Education Committee, Sen. Ritchie supported funding for the $8 million Ice Arena renovations through the SUNY Capital Plan.
With the newly-unveiled changes, the Maxcy Hall Ice Arena will continue to be one of the leading athletics venues in the North Country and the Northeast, as it hosts recreational skating, youth hockey and both Bears hockey teams.
The major alterations are the first to building since Maxcy Hall's construction in 1972.
The biggest changes to the arena include a new high efficiency refrigeration system, ice surface, boards and glass, as well as expanded team benches.
For the fans, the most important improvements include a new climate control system and new seating. Permanent individual seating will replace the lower section of bleachers, while new bleachers will be installed in the upper level.
The bleachers will be retractable, to allow for multipurpose use. Balcony seating areas will help to expand the fan capacity to 1,124.
In addition to the fan accommodations, the Bears hockey teams and coaches will be able to enjoy new modern team locker rooms, coaches' offices and a center ice player entrance. A locker room for referees has also been added. The new enlarged press box is above the team benches, putting scorekeeping staff and media right on top the action.