Paisley Print 9.9.2021
By Joe Paisley
Senior defenseman Bryan Yoon said he realized he was home upon seeing the Colorado College logo and mountains on the Robson Arena scoreboard.
He felt it.
“It’s hard to put into words why it feels like home,” the Parker, Colo. native said after the players toured their new facility for the first time. “You just know it.”
Forgive the players if they looked a bit like young kids in a huge toy store. Many heard a lot about this on-campus facility near downtown Colorado Springs during the recruiting process.
“It was emotional,” Tigers coach Kris Mayotte said. “The guys have been through a lot with a pandemic year, like everyone has, and then a coaching change. You could see them go through some emotions and then see them become excited after it started to sink in that this is theirs.”
“I am lucky,” Mayotte said. “I reminded the players that this arena is also about those who came before us. (Former CC coaches) Mike Haviland, (Scott) Owens and (Don) Lucia and their players all laid the groundwork for this.”
And now with that promise was fulfilled, there was a lot to soak in on Thursday.
“(The Broadmoor) World Arena was great and we’re grateful for all we were able to do there,” Yoon said. “’It’s unreal. Everything is top of the line. It has to be one of the best facilities in the country.”
No recruit or fan can walk away from Robson Arena not realizing CC is committed to its program and competing in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference.
“It speaks for itself,” Mayotte said. “You don’t spend time talking (to recruits) and trying to convince them.”
Fans can look forward to an intimate, energized atmosphere whether they are in their seats atop the action or watching the game from the concession stand line along a wide-open lower-bowl concourse. There are no bad seats in the 3,407-seat, $52 million arena.
“It’s got a big-time feel in a small, cozy setting,” Mayotte said. “They managed to get both perfectly.”
The team will practice for the first time there on Friday with an exhibition game against Pikes Peak Region rival Air Force set for Oct. 2.
The Tigers officially open the facility on Oct. 8 against ECAC St. Lawrence.