Months after the ice rink at Monroe Community College got a new owner and a new name, the hockey coaches and players who call that rink home are skating on in style.
Maksymum Hockey, Rochester Youth Hockey, Rochester Junior Americans and the Bill Gray's Regional Iceplex are working together to promote the sport and invested in a new bus for the travel teams.
"We wanted to show kids starting with the sport and staying with the sport and we wanted to get the theme across of being able to dream and be able to want to ride on that bus down to a junior game," said Jeff Kolcon, from Maksymum Hockey/Rochester Jr. Americans. " Since Bill Gray's came on board, we have been able to take that achieve that, so everybody is pulling out on the same road."
When the mobile billboard isn't traveling to hockey tournaments, it's parked at the ice rink in a spot closest to Interstate 390 to draw attention to the youth hockey programs.
"In synergy with Rochester Youth Hockey, we have created a pyramid of your junior team on down working for the same goal. We are all wearing the same uniforms now and the kids have something to look forward to and something to grow in to," said Dave Maksymiu from Maksymum Hockey/Rochester Jr. Americans.
More than 1,000 area kids are involved in hockey skill performance training and youth hockey programs at the iceplex. The program and marketing director says this partnership is a positive sign for the sport of hockey and the facility.
"Our whole goal is to grow participation in sports," said Chris Woodworth, program director at Bill Gray's Iceplex. "We focus on the entry level programs and then the concept is by working hand in hand with these guys we will grow the numbers at the base level and then hand them off to them so it is a win-win situation."
On Oct. 26, the iceplex will host its first concert in some eight years. Woodworth says they are looking to use the center for other things like festivals and non-sporting events.