After Kenny Brooks’ controversial go-ahead goal in the closing minutes of Penn State’s 4-3 victory against Alabama-Huntsville on Saturday, the lack of video review at Greenberg Ice Pavilion became more evident than it had at any other point this season.
Most other NCAA arenas have this capability.
In fact, several features of the arena were the subject of questions in postgame press conferences after both men’s hockey games this weekend. Some of those features are due to the age of the building, but rink manager Chris Whittemore said the facility has served its purpose as a temporary home for both varsity teams, well.
Penn State is currently in its first Division I ice hockey season, and the team will move to a new home, the Pegula Ice Arena, next season.
Nittany Lions’ coach Guy Gadowsky said the shorter boards contribute to the puck taking weird bounces.
“The boards are shorter at the ends and the sides,” Gadowsky said. “When [the pucks] are coming around, they come off quick because [the boards] are not [higher].
Gadowsky pointed out that game lacked flow, which caused problems for the officials because there were many whistles. As a result, there were 79 total faceoffs in Friday night’s game, and Gadowsky said that officials like games that flow like players and fans.
Whittemore said the boards are shorter because they are on a plywood base, and noted other arenas have a more modern system that is made of advanced materials.
But the one of the most common features of Penn State’s current home that fans notice when they first walk into the rink is the yellow glow of the overhead lights. Whittemore said the lights are the type that would be used in places from parking lots to community rinks because of they are more efficient and help reduce costs.
UAH head coach Kurt Kleinendorst said there are positives the 32 year-old building despite the lack of replay.
“This is a stepping stone to something that is really grand,” Kleinendorst said. “I like older buildings…they have lots of character…Once the puck drops there’s plenty of room on the bench, [it doesn’t matter].”
Whittemore agreed that the Ice Pavilion has character. Whittemore said what gave some NHL venues like Maple Leaf Gardens, Montreal Forum and the old Boston Garden (that he visited a number of times while growing up in New England) such notoriety was the small things.
Kleinendorst particularly liked the fans’ proximity to the ice. The first-year coach said his team has played some games that were “duds.”
“Even though it is not a big crowd, they are right there,” Kleinendorst said. “These are fun games.”
For Gadowsky, there are a lot of reasons to be excited for the completion of the Pegula Ice Arena. Gadowsky added that the new building will benefit the entire community.
While the benefits will be easily visible, rink workers will be fixing problems behind the scenes once the construction of the state-of-the-art “barn” is finished, Whittmore said.
“It will take two or three years before all of the problems are worked out operations-wise,” Whittemore said.
The one thing that Whittemore thinks will give the new building, known as “Pegula”, its character is the steep student section that has room for 1,000 students.