Monday, December 11, 2006

South Stingers move to Minnesota Made Arena

We are moving next week, 12/17 to the Made Ice Arena ( The Arena Maps directions aren't perfect, however. Bush Lake Road makes a very sharp and peculiar right turn shortly after you exit the freeway and head north.

The curling club picture of what it was supposed to look like is here (pdf). The web site has the schedule, for 12/17 it says we start at noon at the North rink.

Coach Rick Carlson has sent us a note on what to expect, here's an edited version (emphases mine):
The next practice will start with a skills test. We will record some skating, and shooting data, and do the same tests again at the end of the season to see what improvement the players have made. I've developed a number of drills, and skills, that should be a good fit for everyone, but if something does not work, I'll change it.

All coaches, and volunteers are asked to come at least 45 minutes early for our next practice so we can go over the skills testing, and recording. I also need everyone's help at least 15 minutes prior to every practice in the locker room, most players have trouble tightening skates, so if we all can give a helping hand, we all can get on the ice sooner.

For games against each other, we will split the teams up according to ability, so the "A" teams will play at one arena, while the "B" teams are at the other arena.

Scrimmages should resemble as normal a hockey game as possible. I will have goalies, and referees present at both games. Keep in mind the difference of abilities will create some challenges, so we will need to be flexible with line combinations.
Skates are hard to tighten. I'm going to bring a metal lace tightening aide and see if I can pick up a few so we'll have them at hand. Supportive skates can make a big difference. We should also keep an eye out for skates that might need replacing as we may be able to find replacements as needed.

We don't know yet if the MN Made rink has on-site sharpening yet. Skate sharpening is a bit of an art. Skilled skaters will often want to sharpen the skates every 3 weeks or so, but novices can find newly sharpened skates tricky -- a piece of wood can smooth the edges a bit. (Outdoor ice is often "dirty" and will wear the skate edges. Walking on concrete will destroy the edge very quickly.) A good sharpening service will adjust technique for novice skaters. My family has had good results from Boehm's on Selby Ave (near Snelling) in Saint Paul; if you can drop off skates and come back for them they may have more time to do a good job. At our next practice ask the volunteers where they get their skates sharpened to find a good place near your home.

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