Patty Ritchie

November 03, 2013

POTSDAM, NY (11/02/2013)(readMedia)-- SUNY Potsdam celebrated the grand re-opening of its newly renovated Maxcy Hall Ice Arena with a series of events on Saturday, Nov. 2. In addition to the men's and women's home-opening games, SUNY Potsdam inducted its 1995-96 SUNYAC Champion men's ice hockey team in to the Bears Hall of Fame.

Festivities began with the Hall of Fame induction ceremony and brunch in the morning. At 2:30 p.m., a pre-game ceremony took place at center ice, prior to the women's contest against Saint Michael's College. Following the women's game, there was a special postgame reception for players, their families and alumni in Maxcy's Welsh Gymnasium.

Senator Patricia Ritchie '91 returned to her alma mater to ceremonially drop the puck and kick off the men's game against the University of New England. A member of the Higher Education Committee, Sen. Ritchie supported funding for the $8 million Ice Arena renovations through the SUNY Capital Plan. Sen. Ritchie was joined at center ice by current and former men's hockey coaches and campus officials.

Photo caption: From left, SUNY Potsdam Bears Men's Ice Hockey Head Coach Chris Bernard, Assistant Vice President for Facilities Tony DiTullio, University of New England team captain Sean Sullivan, Athletic Director Jim Zalacca, State Senator Patty Ritchie '91, Interim President Dennis L. Hefner, SUNY Potsdam team captain Mike Arnold, former SUNY Potsdam Men's Ice Hockey Coach John Horan and former Vice President for Business Affairs Mike Lewis.

With the newly-unveiled changes, the Maxcy Hall Ice Arena will continue to be one of the leading athletics venues in the North Country and the Northeast, as it hosts recreational skating, youth hockey and both Bears hockey teams.

The major alterations are the first to building since Maxcy Hall's construction in 1972. The biggest changes to the arena include a new high efficiency refrigeration system, ice surface, boards and glass, as well as expanded team benches. For the fans, the most important improvements include a new climate control system and new seating. Permanent individual seating will replace the lower section of bleachers, while new bleachers will be installed in the upper level. The bleachers will be retractable, to allow for multipurpose use. Balcony seating areas will help to expand the fan capacity to 1,124.

In addition to the fan accommodations, the Bears hockey teams and coaches will be able to enjoy new modern team locker rooms, coaches' offices and a center ice player entrance. A locker room for referees has also been added. The new enlarged press box is above the team benches, putting scorekeeping staff and media right on top the action.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam Bears athletics and the Maxcy Hall Ice Arena, visit www.potsdam.edu/athletics.

Founded in 1816, and located on the outskirts of the beautiful Adirondack Park, The State University of New York at Potsdam is one of America's first 50 colleges. SUNY Potsdam currently enrolls approximately 4,350 undergraduate and graduate students. Home to the world-renowned Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam is known for its handcrafted education, challenging liberal arts and sciences core, excellence in teacher training and leadership in the performing and visual arts. Empowered by a culture of creativity, the campus community recently launched Take the Lead: The Campaign for Potsdam, which aims to raise $27 million by the College's bicentennial in 2016.