Paisley Print 8.24.2021

Fresh Ice at Robson Arena

By Joe Paisley

 

There are a lot of words – some big, some small — to describe Ed Robson Arena on the Colorado College campus.

“Wow” may be what springs to mind when Tiger hockey fans first set foot in the state-of-the-art facility near downtown Colorado Springs.

“You take a picture or shoot a video to show players or recruits and (the images) just don’t do it justice,” said coach Kris Mayotte, who assumed the reins of the National Collegiate Hockey Conference program this spring. “(Those images) don’t have the Wow factor you feel when you first see it.”

Mayotte is right.

CC opened the arena doors for a short time Tuesday for local media – sometimes there are perks to being a former ink-stained wretch – after lining the ice surface and giving viewers their best idea yet what the 3,407-seat facility will look like. 

Wow, indeed.

“Exciting,” he added. “You know (the season) is getting closer.” 

The players, who arrived on campus earlier this month, will see the facility for the first time as a group, presumably before a special event for season ticket holders on Sept. 17 followed by the formal ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1 p.m. Sept. 18.

“We will do that as a team,” Mayotte said. “There are still a few finishing touches to be done. When they come in for the first time, I want to feel like this is their home.”

The $52 million facility and the school’s unique block schedule (one class at a time for about 18 days) will help CC compete in the NCHC.

“It shows CC is committed to hockey and shows the players that CC has their backs,” Mayotte said. “They all come in with big dreams. CC offers a chance to develop as a player and earn a world-class education. The (on campus) location and the block plan will allow you to be very intentional in what you do each day.”

Mayotte said he and the rest of the coaching staff will check out the finished arena before the players.

“We’ll soak it in, be grateful and get to work,” he said.

CC is still trying to obtain an NCAA waiver to host a fellow Division 1 team for an exhibition on Oct. 2. The Tigers will open the regular season at home on Oct. 8 against ECAC St. Lawrence.