Archive for Important Ice Rinks

The Yale Whale


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It is there, at the corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets in the almost four centuries old New England city of New Haven, Connecticut, that stands what is easily the most single most amazing ice hockey arena not just in all the United States of America but, indeed, the entire world, itself.

To this very day, architects across the globe still marvel at as well as seriously study the spectacular DAVID S. INGALLS RINK, which is, technically speaking, not actually on the campus of YALE UNIVERSITY, itself, but neither a building that exactly blends in with the rows of three-story houses in the working-class neighborhood it neighbors, either.

For more than half a century old now, the very distinct YALE WHALE, as the unique hockey arena is widely known in common parlance, has faithfully served as the home ice of every consensus First Team (East) All-America and / or future National Hockey League skater that the long and storied Yale Bulldogs varsity has ever boasted.

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Not long after the Yale varsity brought the third place trophy won at the 1952 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament in Colorado Springs all the way back to New Haven, it was decided that the Ivy League school required a proper rink of its own if the Bulldogs could be fairly expected to compete year in and year out with the skaters of traditional arch-enemy to the north in Massachusetts, Harvard University. And so a very talented graduate of the Yale School of Architecture (Class of 1934) was recruited by JUAN TRIPPE, the innovative Chairman of the Board of Directors for Pan American World Airways who also just so happened to be a Yale alum, to design a brand new facility for a Bulldogs team then trained by MURRAY MURDOCH, the former New York Rangers left wing who had set the National Hockey League record for consecutive games played. Once Yale University president A. WHITNEY GRISWOLD had approved the architect’s plans as well as overcome the fierce opposition put forth by some of the alumni and faculty, construction on the ambitious project began in 1956.

The “exciting and prolific” EERO SAARINEN had been born in Finland but moved to the United States with his family at an early age and grew up in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, the very same place which would, one day, also serve as the hometown of one ANDREW MILLER, the captain of the 2012/13 Yale University ice hockey team. Back in in 1953, no less of a publication than The New York Times had already described Saarinen as “the most widely known and respected architect of his generation.” Indeed, Saarinen had already designed the would-be iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis (which was not actually built until the early 1960s) and, among other things, would also be responsible for the “ultramodern, wavelike” TWA Terminal at Kennedy International Airport in New York City, the Dulles International Airport near Washington, D.C., as well as the CBS corporate headquarters building in downtown Manhattan.

The distinguishing architectural characteristic of the Yale Whale is Saarinen’s arched roof, which has a maximum height of 23 meters and is considered to be a hallmark of the classic Modernist style. The reinforced concrete which serves as the novel ice arena’s humpback spine is 90 meters long. An innovative system of cables attached to the arch supports the timber frame inside the rink while another set of exterior cables, conceived by project engineer FRED N. SEVERUD, connect the arch to the outer edges of the aluminum roof in order to address forces caused by asymmetrical wind loads.

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The final tab for the Yale Whale came to $ 1.5 million dollars (which turned out to be twice as much as the original cost estimate) with the lion’s share of the financing for the new ice rink in New Haven being generously provided by the prominent Ingalls family.

DAVID S. INGALLS, SR., had enrolled as a freshman at Yale University in the fall of 1916 but was inducted into the United States Navy as an aviator by the very next spring. The native of Cleveland, Ohio, found himself in France by the fall of 1917 and eventually would earn the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for his efforts during First World War. Ingalls shot down six German planes, a total which made the Bulldogs frosh the one and only U.S. Navy fighter pilot to attain the coveted “ace” status.

Ingalls returned to Yale just in time to captain the Bulldogs varsity for the two February games in Brooklyn (the loss to Harvard and the victory over Princeton) that comprised the entire 1918/19 ice hockey schedule. The decorated World War I hero also skippered Yale again when the Bulldogs compiled a record of four wins against five losses during the 1919/20 campaign. It is interesting to note that Yale University’s outdoor rink was unplayable in February of 1920 and so the Bulldogs contested all three of its home games in Philadelphia.

By the early 1950s, after again serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy during the Second World War, Ingalls had become a member of the Board of Directors for Pan American World Airways but probably had not forgotten that he, himself, had never actually skated a home game for Yale University ice hockey team in the city of New Haven, itself.

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It was not even until the long since gone New Haven Arena appeared in 1926 that the Yale varsity began to stage all of its “home” games at the same physical location with any consistency. An indoor hockey of the very same name had been originally been constructed on Grove Street in 1916 but had never really been embraced by the Bulldogs before burning down eight years later. A replacement rink was quickly re-built, however, primarily in order to house the fledgling New Haven Eagles of the new Canadian-American Hockey League.

No fewer than five of the original New Haven Eagles had spent the previous 1925/26 season skating for the Boston Bruins in the elite National Hockey League. One of those players, the Canadian forward NORM SHAY, later settled in neighboring Hamden, Connecticut, and would become a linesman in both the Can-Am circuit and its successor, the American Hockey League. Shay’s son, Ted, later became a prominent player for the Yale University squad that finished in third place at the 1952 NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament.

The blue-shirted Bulldogs were still sharing the New Haven Arena downtown with the minor league professionals when one DAVID S. INGALLS, JR., arrived on the Yale University campus and was chosen as the captain of the freshman team for the 1952/53 season.

Dave Ingalls, like his father had before him, also became the skipper of the Yale varsity in his senior season. It was, indeed, the captain Ingalls who made a fine pass from behind the net to provide linemate JOHN AKERS with the chance to score the only goal of the game early in the second period when the Bulldogs defeated fierce rival Harvard by the minimum scoreline on March 3, 1956. This historic result would prove to be the very last time that Yale ever did beat the hated Crimson at the old New Haven Arena.

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Saarinen’s masterpiece, which was christened the DAVID S. INGALLS RINK to honor the father and son who had both captained the Bulldogs varsity, was completed in time to begin the 1958/59 campaign. Although Yale featured would be First Team (East) All-America GERRY JONES between the pipes and went on to finish that season with a respectable record of 12 wins against nine losses with one tie, the inauguration contest against Northeastern University on December 3, 1958, was not a triumphant occasion. A meager crowd of only nine hundred spectators (it was a midweek match, for the record) showed up at the newly-opened Yale Whale (which has always maintained the official capacity to hold 3,486 fans) to watch the visitors from Boston vanquish the Bulldogs 4-3.

As for the very first ever Harvard – Yale confrontation at the corner of Prospect and Sachem Streets in New Haven, at least the Bulldogs did not bow to the despised Crimson as the two teams skated to a 5-5 draw on March 7, 1959, in what was the last game of the season for both sides. Yale defenseman CHARLES SMITH had scored two quick goals to give the the hosts a 2-0 advantage after only 48 seconds but the Bulldogs would still require a second goal of the game from two-time All-Ivy League selection ED MCGONAGLE with twenty seconds remaining in order to claim a share of the spoils. Much to the chagrin of the Yale supporters, it would not be until February of 1966 (the season following the retirement of the long-time bench master Murdoch) that the Bulldogs were finally able to register a victory over its great arch-rival on the ice surface at the David S. Ingalls Rink.

It was in the 40th year of play at the legendary ice arena in New Haven that the Bulldogs varsity was, at last, able to secure an Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference regular season championship banner to hang in the Yale Whale’s faithful belly and, despite being knocked out of the 1997/98 ECAC playoffs by the eternal enemy Harvard, Yale did earn an invitation to the annual NCAA men’s ice hockey tournament for the first time in almost half a century.

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Herzlich Willkommen In Der EgeTrans Arena


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From left to right, the national flags of the NETHERLANDS, ITALY, AUSTRIA and host GERMANY hang from the rafters at the recently completed EGETRANS ARENA in the city of BIETIGHEIM-BISSINGEN, which is located in the northern part of the southwestern German state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, for the purposes of the XXII Winter Olympic Games – Group D Qualification Tournament to be held in February.
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In the case of four western European countries, the road to the men’s ice hockey tournament at the XXII Winter Olympic Games to be held next year in Sochi, Russia, runs through a little town in southwestern Germany that is home to less than 50,000 people. And, for three unfortunate teams, all hopes of Olympic ice hockey glory will be unceremoniously halted right there. But, at least vanquished will have had the unique opportunity to skate in the 2.Bundesliga’s newest building.

At the start of this 2012/13 campaign, the local fire marshalls had reduced the capacity for the hometown SC Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers’ contests at the aging Ellental Eisstadion from 3,250 spectators to 2,662 people on account of safety concerns. All that, however, is now in the past as the current leaders of the German second division have flawlessly completed their move to the brand new ice hockey facility that opened just before Christmas of 2012. This thanks to the investment of 18.0 million Euros by Stadtwerke Bietigheim-Bissingen GmbH, the local utilities company that wholly owns and operates the EGETRANS ARENA.

Construction on the new ice hockey rink in Bietigheim-Bissingen was begun towards the end of November in 2011. The new arena was completed in accordance with the specifications as outlined in the Deutsche Eishockey Liga’s so-called “9000-Punkte-Plan” (nine thousand-point plan, of course) in little more than thirteen months. The EgeTrans Arena, which is named for the shipping company headquartered in Marbach am Neckar that has bought the rights for the first three years, officially opened just in time for both the holiday season as well as the local Derbyspiel between the Steelers and the intra-state 2.Bundesliga rival Heilbronner Falken on December 17, 2012.

On that occasion, a sell-out crowd of 4,583 partisan spectators saw SC Bietigheim-Bissingen rally from a 3-1 third period deficit to bring off a dramatic 4-3 victory via an overtime goal by MARCEL RODMAN, the former Boston Bruins draft pick (2001, 9th round, # 282 overall) who will be skating for his native Slovenia at the XXII Winter Olympic Games – Group F Qualification Tournament to be hosted by Vojens, Denmark.

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The new EGETRANS ARENA in Bietigheim-Bissingen, which proudly displays its connection to the XXII Winter Olympic Games ice hockey tournament which will be contested in Russia this time next year prominently at center ice, is a modest facility that boasts an official capacity of 4,583 specators but actually has only 2,983 Sitzplaetze (individual fixed seats), a facet of European hockey which is certainly not unique to Germany.
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The SC Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers have taken very well to their new home as the record clearly shows. The Steelers have, as a matter of fact, won eight consecutive 2.Bundesliga contests on the trot since moving from the Ellental Arena to the EgeTrans Arena in late December. Led by the goal-scoring exploits of both Rodman, the summer signing from Austrian club UPC Vienna Capitals, as well as American import P.J. FENTON, the former University of Massachusetts-Amherst winger who was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round (# 162 overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League Draft but never advanced higher than the American Hockey League ranks, SC Bietigheim-Bissingen have taken over at the top of the German second division table and currently enjoy a three-point lead with a game in hand on their closest competitor.

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SC Bietigheim-Bissingen Steelers (dark shirts) spend time in the defensive zone of local arch-rival Heilbronner Falken during the 2.Bundesliga-Derbyspiel on opening night at the EgeTrans Arena in northern Baden-Wuerttemberg.
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Now, the 2.Bundesliga (in addition to the Deutsche Eishockey Liga) has taken a break as the moment of Olympic truth for the national teams of Austria, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands has finally arrived. The brand new EgeTrans Arena in Bietigheim-Bissingen will be the grand stage upon which four countries will skate in the hopes of securing the ticket to the men’s ice hockey tournament at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Only one team, naturally, can be successful in achieving that specific aim.

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Austria goaltender FABIAN WEINHANDL (31) of UPC Vienna Capitals takes a break at the bench area as the white-shirted national team of Italy contiunue with their pre-game skate at the other end of the ice prior to the start of the opening match of the XXII Winter Olympic Games – Group D Qualification Tournament staged at the brand new EgeTrans Arena in Bietigheim-Bissingen, Germany.

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Red Bull Salute – Eisbaeren Visit Vienna’s Albert Schultz Halle


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The current Erste Bank Eishockey Liga leaders, UPC VIENNA CAPITALS, and the visiting two-time defending Deutsche Eishockey Liga champion, EISBAEREN BERLIN, participate in the traditional “pre-game skate” just prior to the quarterfinal contest of the 2012 Red Bull Salute – European Trophy Finals at the ALBERT SCHULTZ HALLE in the capital city of Austria.
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The ALBERT SCHULTZ HALLE in the beautiful Danubian city of VIENNA is one of two venues, with the Slovakian metropolis of Bratislava being the other, that are hosting this year’s installment of the RED BULL SALUTE – EUROPEAN TROPHY FINALS.

The Albert Schultz Halle in the Kagran District of Austria’s national capital will be the site of two quarterfinal matches, including the big Austro-German border battle between the hometown UPC Vienna Capitals and the traveling Eisbaeren Berlin, as well as one of the semifinal matches to be held in conjunction with the decisive stage of the Euroepan Trophy tournament.

The two successful teams advancing to the Final of the 2012 Red Bull Salute will meet in Bratislava on Sunday, December 16.

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The project to build the Albert Schultz Halle, commisssioned by the city of Vienna, itself, at the original cost of 20.5 million Euros, formally started when construction began in 1989. The motivation for this decision by the local authorities had been the fact that the Danubian city had been awarded the right to host the 1996 edition of the annual World Championships by the International Ice Hockey Federation but only on the condition that a modern ice rink be made available. The construction process, itself, took quite some time to complete as the first official ice hockey match between now-bankrupt CE Wien and EPC Kapfenberg was not held until January of 1995.

Originally, the Albert Schultz Halle had a capacity for just 4,500 spectators. The athletic arena was maintained and operated by a Viennese municipal department for the first few years of its existance. Then, in May of 2009, the newly-arrived professional ice hockey club in town, the Vienna Capitals, signed a profitable lease with city auhtorities and also have been handling the ice rink’s operations ever since.

In February of 2009, the Erste Bank Eishockey Liga club revealed its plans to expand the Albert Schultz Halle to a capacity in the neighborhood of seven thousand spectators. Construction for the grand expansion began at the conclusion of the 2008/09 ice hockey season and was finished for the the beginning of the 2011/12 campaign. In addition to room for almost twice as many patrons, a new parking garage was built near the facility and several new video screens were added inside the ice rink, itself.

The total cost of these latest renovations to the largest ice rink in the capital city of Austria, which does boast a considerable public skating schedule, are thought to be in the ballpark of around 30.0 million Euros.

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The new version of the Albert Schultz Halle has now has the ability to hold an official total of 7,022 spectators. However, as the above photograph helps to show, the sections behind the goal at both ends of the largest ice hockey rink in the capital city of Austria are of the standing-room-only variety.

As the regular readers already know, this is actually the blog’s second ‘trip’ to the Albert Schultz Halle in Vienna this season.

To help celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Oesterreichischer Eishockey Verband (OEHV), the ruling body of ice hockey in Austria, the national teams of neighboring Oesterreich and visiting Detuschland met in an international friendly match earlier this season. The visiting Germans staged a third-period rally to win that contest 4-3 in front of some 2,500 spectators. Eisbaeren Berlin were represented by starting goaltender ROB ZEPP, defensman FRANK HOERDLER as well as forward ANDRE RANKEL on the triumphant German squad in Vienna that day.

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Philadelphia Flyer Player At Art Ice Stadium In The Sahn Park


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The modest KUNSTEISSTADION IM SAHNPARK, an ice arena in eastern Germany that is not even fully enclosed and is mostly a standing-room-only arrangement with very few actual fixed seats about the facility, must seem to be at least a million miles away from the National Hockey League, to speak nothing of the luxurious Wells Fargo Center (which can accomodate roughly 20,330 spectators including some in standing-room-only sections) on Broad Street in South Philly, for second divison club Eispiraten Crimmitschau’s new signing WAYNE SIMMONDS.

Of course, up until the time the locked-out Philadelphia Flyers forward with the new, six-year contract that is worth a total of $ 23.8 million dollars was six years old growing up in the Canadian city of Toronto, the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark on the northwestern outskirts of Crimmitschau was an outdoor arena that had no roof whatsoever.

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CIRCA 1993 — The eastern German town of Crimmitschau’s open-air KUNSTEISSTADION IM SAHNPARK ……. (photo courtesy of : www.89-90.sachsen.de/Sachsen_im_Blick.html)
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Like almost all ice rinks throughout the countryside in the history of the by gone Deutsche Demokratische Republik (German Democratic Republic), the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark in Crimmitschau was an open-air sports facility which had absolutely no covering from nature’s elements for either players or spectators, alike, from the time it was originally constructed in 1964.

This did not stop the national ice hockey team of the old D.D.R. from staging ten senior “A” international matches at the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark up until 1970 (when the full effects of the infamous “Leistungssportbeschluss” kicked in).

The history of ice hockey in the town of Crimmitschau actually stretches back to 1927. By the decade of the 1960s, EINHEIT CRIMMITSCHAU (the word “einheit”, or “unity”, tips off that the club were officially sponsored by the East German government’s administrative apparatus) were a fairly strong team that normally finished third in the domestic elite division (Oberliga) and won the Deutscher Eislauf Verband Pokal (the old East German Cup, an annual single-elimination competition) in 1966, 1967 and 1970. Einheit Crimmitschau also contributed a few contemporary players to the D.D.R. national team including goaltender PETER “The White Mask” KOLBE, who earned a permanent place in international ice hockey history by saving 73 of 74 shots when East Germany astonishingly knocked off Sweden 4-1 at the 1966 IIHF World Championships held in Ljubljana, Yugoslavia.

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CIRCA 1984 — EINHEIT CRIMMITSCHAU and MONSATOR BERLIN battle at the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark during the annual competition known as “Die DDR Bestenermittlung” (basically, this was the East German second division that used to be known as the “Gruppenliga” before the great reorganization of ice hockey that accompanied the transformative Leistungssportbechluss decree of 1969) ….. Einheit Crimmitschau won the title of “DDR-Bester” (the de facto second division championship competing underneath the two-team Oberliga) in 1971, 1972, 1974 as well as 1980 and also finished “2.Platz” another ten times up until such time as the tournament was discontinued in 1990 ….. (photo courtesy of : www.lotok.de/ost-eishockey/bestenerm.htm)
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Up until this week, the “big” capture for German 2.Bundesliga club EISPIRATEN CRIMMITSCHAU on the transfer market this off-season summer had been the addition of Canadian legionnaire DARCY CAMPBELL, the 28-year-old journeyman rearguard who had appeared in all of exactly one National Hockey League game for the Columbus Blue Jackets at the tail end of the 2006/07 campaign after concluding his college career at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks and later had spells in Finland with TPS Turku as well as Czech Republic side HC Slavia Prague.

But that status certainly was challenged soon enough …

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“TRANSFER OF THE CENTURY” — With the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark featured prominently in the background, the club officials of 2.Bundesliga side EISPIRATEN CRIMMITSCHAU introduce a pair of former first round picks at the annual National Hockey League Draft, Philadelphia Flyers winger WAYNE SIMMONDS (third from left) and St. Louis Blues forward CHRIS STEWART (third from right), to the German media during a press conference in Saxony.
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The can be little question that arrival of two NHL-Cracks is expected to have an enormous impact on Eispiraten Crimmitschau not only on the ice for trainer FABIAN DAHLEM’s side in the 2.Bundesliga but in terms of attracting people in significant numbers to the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark (capacity : 5,222 spectators), as well.

Eispiraten Crimmitschau have not done so well at the gate in recent seasons. As a matter of fact, last season marked the first time since the 2007/08 campaign that the Saxon club were able to exceed an average attendance of two thousand people per ice hockey contest :

2011/12 … 2,110 avg … 28 games
2010/11 … 1,832 avg … 28 games
2009/10 … 1,982 avg … 29 games
2008/09 … 1,994 avg … 24 games
2007/08 … 2,782 avg … 29 games
2006/07 … 2,386 avg … 30 games

(Note : attendance averages reflect figures for both regular season and playoff contests with respect to any given season)

Crimmitschau, by the way, just so happens to be the birthplace of German hockey legend UDO KIESSLING, who, among many other things, holds the distinction of being the very first player trained in Deutschland to ever cross the Atlantic Ocean and skate in a National Hockey League game; the International Ice Hockey Federation Hall of Fame defenseman’s father Gerhard is the only man in history who ever held the titles of national team trainer for both the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Federal Republic of Germany) and the old D.D.R. (not at the same time, naturally).

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The upper right hand corner of the picture reveals the open-air section of the ice arena as Eispiraten Crimmitschau trainer FABIAN DAHLEM is flanked by the two history-making signings of the 2.Bundesliga club, locked-out National Hockey League players CHRIS STEWART of the St. Louis Blues (left) and WAYNE SIMMONDS (right) of the Philadelphia Flyers, at the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark in the Saxony region of eastern Germany.
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The Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark in the eastern German town of Crimmitschau, which did not feature a canopy or roof of any kind until the year 1994, still to this day has exactly 187 fixed seats throughout the entire ice arena. This even after a few different renovation projects completed after the reunification of Germany, including the work on the arena facility that was just finished in 2010. The rest of the official capacity for 5,222 spectators is reserved for those hearty souls who are willing to stand throughout an entire second division ice hockey contest.

Exactly how many Eishockey-Fans show up at the Kunsteisstadion im Sahnpark on Friday to watch Canadian legionnaires and current NHL refugees WAYNE SIMMONDS and CHRIS STEWART make their German debut for Eispiraten Crimmitschau in an early-season 2.Bundesliga contest against regional Saxon rival LAUSITZER FUECHSE remains to be seen.

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Willkommen – Post Finance Arena


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Situated on the predominantly-hilly, so-called Swiss Plateau in the national capital city is the home rink to the incredibly popular professional ice hockey club, SCHLITTSCHUH CLUB BERN, that has now boasted the best per-game attendance compared to all others throughout the whole of Europe for the past 10 consecutive years in a row — the POST FINANCE ARENA.
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The Post Finance Arena is the largest rink in Switzerland as well as one of the largest facilities used for ice hockey in all of Europe. The rink was originally opened in 1967 as the Eisstadion Allmend and later assumed its current name as part of a sponsorship deal prior to the start of the 2007/08 season. In light of the arena’s age and with the 2009 IIHF World Championships scheduled to take place in die Schweiz, the stadium owners in Bern invested 105 million Swiss francs (CHF – roughly $ 114 million U.S. dollars today) for extension and restoration of the building. The work was completed prior to the start of the 2008/09 campaign with the majority of the construction focused on renovation and expansion of the so-called VIP Zone, which now includes 21 luxury boxes.
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The official capacity for the POST FINANCE ARENA in Bern would be 17,131 at present. Oddly enough, the Swiss stadium actually still has only 6,709 fixed seats. But the facility does host a world-famous standing-room-only section that is traditionally well-stocked with passionate SC Bern supporters for each and every Nationalliga A game. One notable feature of the eye-opening second level (standing-room-only section) is the very steep incline; the above photo provides a good look at the railings in the s.r.o. section and captures youth players at practice.
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A bird’s eye view from way up in the so-called “rafters” of the world-famous, second level standing-room-only section of the Post Finance Arena in Bern.
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Finnish Olympic silver medalist REIJO RUOTSALAINEN (above), the diminutive, smooth-skating rearguard who represented the New York Rangers at the 1986 NHL All-Star Game and earned two Stanley Cup rings with the powerful Edmonton Oilers in 1987 and 1990, also contributed to another three Nationalliga A titles with Schlittschuh Club Bern in six seasons spread out over four different tours of duty for the capital city side in Switzerland.
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RYAN CALLAHAN (24) of the New York Rangers, who went on to collect a silver medal with the United States at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada, goes to the forehand and beats Metallurg Magnitogorsk goaltender ANDREI MEZIN, the three-time Belarus Olympic netminder who backstopped his country to a famous upset of Sweden in the quarterfinal round at the 2002 Winter Games at Salt Lake City, with 20 seconds remaining to allow the National Hockey League representative to down their Russian counterparts in the VICTORIA CUP match staged in early October of 2008 at the Post Finance Arena in Bern, Switzerland.
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DAN FRITSCHE of the New York Rangers, who scored one of the goals that allowed the Original Six NHL side to rally from a deficit of three and defeat Russian Super League club Metallurg Magnitogorsk, holds the Victoria Cup trophy aloft in front of the official crowd of 13,749 at the Post Finance Arena in early October of 2008. The native of Ohio, who had been acquired by the Blueshirts after skating in 187 NHL games for the Columbus Blue Jackets the previous three years, only played 16 regular season games and scored just one goal with the Rangers before being traded to the Minnesota Wild in late January of 2009. Fritsche has spent the last two seasons lacing his skates in Switzerland again, this time with HC Servette Geneva.
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Russia captain ALEXEI MOROZOV (95) of Ak Bars Kazan, who was once chosen in the first round of the 1995 National Hockey League Draft and later skated 451 NHL games over six seasons for the Pittsburgh Penquins, observes as United States forward JOE PAVELSKI (8) of the San Jose Sharks goes flying during the 2009 IIHF World Championships semi-final contest at the Post Finance Arena in Bern, Switzerland; a third period goal by SKA St. Petersburg center Konstantin Gorovikov with less than two minutes remaining propelled eventual gold-medalist Russia to a 3-2 victory over the United States, who ended the tournament in fourth place.
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The Zamboni and its driver begin to take laps at the Post Finance Arena in the capital city of Switzerland to prepare for the third game of the best-of-seven Nationalliga A Playoff Final between host SC Bern and visiting SC Zuerich this past Saturday just ahead of the Easter Holiday.
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Messe Innsbruck


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The Tyrolean Alps which surround the Inn Valley provide the backdrop in this magnificent photo of the MESSE INNSBRUCK complex, the site where the final B Pool tournament was contested for the hockey competition at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games hosted by the city of Innsbruck, Austria.
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With the schedule of the main ice arena in the Austrian Alpine city of Innsbruck, the OLYMPIAHALLE, already completely full as a result of figure skating and ice hockey (A Pool) competitions, the organizers for the 1976 Winter Olympic Games, as had been done a dozen years earlier when the city had first played host to the Winter Olympics, once again made use of the MESSEHALLE facility to stage the tournament for the B Pool in ice hockey.

The B Pool, to review, was comprised of the six countries — Austria, Bulgaria, Japan, Romania, Switzerland and Yugoslavia — that had lost their respective Olympic qualification matches; those particular contests, of course, had been staged at the much larger Olympiahalle in Innsbruck on the second and third day of February in 1976.

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Located within walking distance of the city’s historic old town center, the Messe Innsbruck is a convention center complex that has always and continues to occasionally host sporting events in addition to a more traditional program of business exhibitions and trade shows, corporate and product presentations, art exhibitions and social events, etc.

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The Messe Innsbruck complex, a site which now consists of 40,000 square meters and, since 2004, is owned and operated by a local company known as the Congress and Messe Innsbruck GmbH, underwent an extensive renovation which began in 2010 and was completed in the following year.

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Messe Innsbruck, Curling, 2012 Youth Winter Olympics
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In December of 2008, the decision was made to have the city of Innsbruck host the very first-ever Winter Youth Olympic Games. A very logical conlusion considering all the requisite infrastructure to stage the athletic events was already well in place for the historical Alpine location. Although the ice hockey competition was held at the Tirol Wasserkraft Arena at the modern Olympiaworld complex, the Messehalle Innsbruck, once again, played its part.

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Willkommen Zu Der Olympiahalle


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The opposing national teams of POLAND (white sweaters, red shorts) and FINLAND line-up on their respective bluelines just prior to the start their meeting on the exciting and eventful final day of the ice hockey competiton at the 1976 Winter Olympic Games hosted by Innsbruck, Austria.
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The historical OLYMPIAHALLE in the Pradl district of the Austrian city of Innsbruck is something of a hallowed shrine as far as international ice hockey goes.

The recognizable arena with an official capacity of 7,800 will always standout as the very first, fully-enclosed indoor rink to ever host the ice hockey tournament at the world-renowned Winter Olympics. Indeed, the Innsbruck Games of 1964 had propelled the sport of ice hockey into modern era, in so far as the Olympics were concerned. And, a local revolt on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean would see to it that the Olympiahalle remains the one and only venue to have ever staged Olympic ice hockey on two different occasions.

The International Olympic Committee had initially chosen Denver in the United States as the site for the XII Games of the Winter Olympiad. But the taxpayers in the city in the shadows of the famed Rocky Mountains absolutely freaked out once they finally figured what staging the Olympics was going to cost them. And so, the I.O.C. hastily relocated the 1976 Winter Games to Innsbruck, where all the requisite infrastructure had already been built a decade prior.

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A contemporary shot of the triple-tiered standing-room section inside the OLYMPIAHALLE, which was upgraded after the new millenium as the city of Innsbruck prepared to play host to the IIHF World Championships in 2005, at the one end of the rink in the Tyrolean capital.
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A modern-day view of the single-level standing-room area at the other end of the OLYMPIAHALLE, which used to serve as home ice for the now-defunct EV Innsbruck team; the historic Olympic arena has been without a tenant in Austrian professional hockey ever since the smaller Tirol Wasserkraft Arena was built right next door in 2005.
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A colorful postcard from the 1970s commemorates the the two-time Olympic city of Innsbruck and captures the scenic Tyrolean Alps, which dominate the landscape of western Austria, in addition to the iconic OLYMPIAHALLE and its adjacent outdoor speed skating track.
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The view from behind the OLYMPIAHALLE and the adjacent outdoor speed skating track stares straight into the natural beauty and wonder that are the Alps in the western Austrian state of Tyrol; to the right of the square-shaped Olympic ice hockey building is the smaller Tirol Wasserkraft Arena, the home rink for die Haie (the Sharks) of HC TWK Innsbruck, with its oval-shaped roof.
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A shot from the side of the OLYMPIAHALLE (left) shows the iconic Olympic rings on the front of the building in addition to the neighboring Tivoli-Neu Stadion, the stadium that was built in 2002 with the capacity for 17,400 spectators and serves as the home ground of FC Wacker Innsbruck, a football (soccer) team in the Austrian Bundesliga.
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A frontal view of the majestic OLYMPIAHALLE with its Olympic rings and the much-smaller Tirol Wasserkraft Arena (official capacity for 3,130 fans); HC TWK Innsbruck, who were originally founded in 1994, currently compete in the second divison of Austrian domestic hockey.
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This contemporary photograph features the colorful European automobiles parked alongside the row of national flags on display just outside the OLYMPIAHALLE (which would be on one’s left in this photo here) and can do nothing but adequately prepare one for the adventure and drama that is the “OCCUPY 1976 INNSBRUCK OLYMPICS” movement.
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Are YOU ready to flashback for some Olympic ice hockey from the 1976 Winter Games hosted by Innsbruck in the Tyrolean Alps of western Austria?

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Welcome To Olympiaworld


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The historic OLYMPIAHALLE, as denoted in the above layout as the Olympic ice stadium, is just one of several athletic facilities which, today, comprise the so-called OLYMPIAWORLD sports park in the Austrian city of Innsbruck, which twice played host to the Winter Olympic Games in both 1964 and 1976.
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Neither the TIVOLI-NEU STADION (Tivoli Stadium, above) nor the TIROL WASSERKRAFT ARENA (Tyrolean Ice Arena, above) both even existed at the time XII Games of the Winter Olympiad in February of 1976.

The Tivoli-Neu football (soccer) stadium, named after the original Tivoli Stadion which was located in a different part of Innsbruck next to the Sill River, was not completed until 2002 and the Tirol Wasserkraft Arena would not arrive for another three years, just in time for the Tyrolean city to host the annual International Ice Hockey Federation World Championships in 2005.

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A photo of an entrance to the oval-shaped TIVOL WASSERKRAFT ARENA, the home to Austrian Nationalliga (second division) club HC TWK INNSBRUCK, with the neighboring OLYMPIAHALLE off to the right at the Olympiaworld complex in the capital city of the state of Tyrol.
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One-time Michigan State University star and long-time National Hockey League winger REM MURRAY (17), the 39-year-old who previously registered 94 goals in 560 NHL games for the Edmonton Oilers, New York Rangers and Nashville Predators before signing with Finnish club IFK Helsinki in the summer of 2006, chases the puck for visiting HC TWK INNSBRUCK in the Nationalliga match opposite the Vienna Capitals at the Albert Schulz Halle in the capital city of Austria on January 14, 2012. (photo: Stefan Wilfinger)

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Xaver Unsinn Hat Blyth Arena Besucht


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Vier deutschen olympischen Teilnehmer stehen ausserhalb des Eishockeyhauses, die BLYTH ARENA, waehrend der 1960 Olympische Winterspiele in dem kalifornischen Squaw Valley. Das Foto gibt von links : SIEGFRIED SCHUBERT, XAVER UNSINN, ERNST TRAUTWEIN und KURT SEPP. Alle vier Spieler kamen aus EV Fuessen, die sieben deutsche Titel in Folge von 1953 bis 1959 gewonnen hat.
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Es ist sehr traurig, dass XAVER UNSINN gegangen ist. Unsinn hat viel fuer Deutschland als beide Spieler und Trainer getan. Er bleibt immer, ein echte und ausgezeichnete Nationalheld.

KURT SEPP hat das 1960 deutsche olympische Mannschaft mit drei Tore gefuehrt. Sepp hat das einzige Tor fuer Deutschland in dem Spiel gegen die Amerikaner, die die Goldmedaille auf dem Haupteis gewonnen hat, an der Blyth Arena geschossen. Unsinn, der 30 Jahre alt jetzt war, hat die Vorarbeit mit diesem Tor gemacht.

Spaeter, Unsinn hat einen grossen Erfolg mit den Amerikanern an den Olympische Winterspiele als deutsche Trainer … aber dass ist ein andere Geschichte.

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Blyth Arena – A Barn For The Ages

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The legendary BLYTH ARENA was a most distinct as well as historical barn while serving as the site of the ice hockey competition at the 1960 WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES in SQUAW VALLEY and is, all but assuredly, something which the world will never see again.

Although it must seem strange to contemporary fans of the sport, the facility on the West Coast of the United States was intentionally left open-faced for a very specific reason — the International Olympic Committee had a regulation at the time which stipulated that no official compeition could be conducted under an enclosed roof.

And so an entire side of the building spanning the entire length of the ice rink, itself, was actually completely exposed to the outside elements. Long ropes suspended from the roof sustained the Olympic symbol and were meant to form a sort of curtain which was supposed to lessen the impact of the sun’s glare on the ice. This measure, however, would prove to be only partly successful.

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The victorious UNITED STATES squad, including game-winning goal-scorer BILL CHRISTIAN (6) of Warroad, Minnesota, and team captain JACK KIRRANE (3) of Brookline, Massachusetts, celebrate their surprising 3-2 triumph over the defending Olympic gold medalists from the Soviet Union during the ice hockey tournament at the 1960 Winter Games in Squaw Valley.
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The memorable Winter Games at Squaw Valley actually marked the very first time that the Olympic ice hockey tournament had ever been played on an artificial, man-made surface. In the planning stages for the event in 1960, it had been historically noted that temperatures during winter in this mountain region of northern California could often reach the high 30s and low 40s (Fahrenheit) in the daylight hours. That would make for unwanted, if not unplayable, slushy conditions and so modern ice-making technology was called upon.

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A view from one of the two Olympic ski jumps on the mountain at Squaw Valley in 1960 provides an ideal vantage point for both the south side of the open-faced BLYTH ARENA as well as the 400 meter speed skating track just outside the ice hockey rink … Just two years after the Winter Games held in northern California, the speed skating track was replaced by a parking lot servicing recreational skiers in 1963. Meanwhile, the ski jumps made of wood were left to deteriorate with the passage of time.
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A splendid view, then, of the front (north) side of the BLYTH ARENA depicts national coats of arms for the competing countries at the 1960 Olympic ice hockey tournament in addition to a fine sampling of some of the contemporary automobiles to be found in the United States at that point in time.
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The following two pictures, if cut out and pasted side by side, create an outstanding sense of appreciation of what it must have been like to be in the audience at the open-faced Blyth Arena in Squaw Valley for the ice hockey tournament at the 1960 Winter Olympic Games; the facility boasted an official capacity for 8,500 spectators but after the United States upset neighboring Canada 2-1 behind the sensational goaltending of former University of Minnesota netminder JACK MCCARTAN, the final two games for the host nation against the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia, repsectively, resulted in overflow, standing-room-only crowds of a reported 10,000 people.
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This particular piece easily affords one the opportunity to observe the ropes which hang down from the roof at the Blyth Arena to support ths Olympic symbol while attempting to stop the sun from creating too much glare on the ice. And the 400 meter speed skating track situated just behind the stands on the south side of the rink. One may also note that, here at the Squaw Valley Winter Games of 1960, the corners of the rink are not anywhere closed to being as rounded as they are now today.
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After rallying for six unanswered goals in the third period against Czechoslovakia on the final day of tournament play, the 1960 Olympic gold medal-winning squad of the United States gathers jubilantly for a photograph at the open-faced Blyth Arena in Squaw Valley.

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