Long Island is home to some of the most spirited hockey lovers in the world, and the Hamptons is no different. At the Southampton Ice Rink, love for the sport is bringing people together from every walk of life to share their passion for the puck. On my last visit, I was reminded of how much energy and excitement the Southampton Ice Rink brings to the Hamptons.
Open all year and located in the heart of Southampton at 668 County Road 39, the Southampton Ice Rink is open year-round offering both public skating and ice hockey sessions. The well-equipped facility features a regulation-sized rink with modern equipment and technology, including an advanced cooling system that keeps the ice in excellent condition.
All I could think while I watched the young players skate at the Southampton Ice Rink was, “WOW, THESE KIDS CAN PLAY.”
Ed Gaetjens—aka “Coach” at the Rink—is highly passionate about hockey and teaches kids in the evenings not just how to PLAY hockey, but how to WIN. “It’s such a great sport. It teaches you teamwork and camaraderie and it’s incredibly good for you. A lot of these kids have never skated before. When we started in October we had over 20 kids that never had put on a pair of skates. Today they are all athletes on the ice. It’s incredible how fast they have come along, all I see are smiles on the ice.”
Some parents are pure hockey parents, like Chris Minardi who drives his son every day to the rink from East Hampton. Many of the parents sacrifice a lot for their kids with the travel, “My son Cam loves it. He eats, sleeps, and drinks hockey every day. I’m happy to make the trip.”
Cam Minardi plays for the Peconic Wildcats U-10 team and they are having a winning season and are headed to the playoffs with a 21 and 1 record. On Saturday they are playing in Brooklyn against The Rinx team.
More than its high-quality playing surface, the Southampton Ice Rink caters to players’ and fans’ needs. The facility includes a fully-stocked pro shop to purchase equipment, including skates, sticks, and protective gear. There are also locker rooms available for players to store their gear and change clothes.
The Southampton Ice Rink is also home to a variety of ice hockey programs and leagues—including youth and adult leagues—plus, clinics and training programs designed to help players improve their skills and techniques.
The rink hosts tournaments and competitions throughout the year, so make sure you get involved!