By Debbie Adams
Bruce and Melissa Abramski opened the Hockey House Pro Shop in Vinton in 2019, selling hockey equipment, accessories, and apparel. They chose their Hardy Road location mainly because of its proximity to the Lancerlot Sports Complex with its new ice rink and growing hockey programs of lessons and leagues.
“The Hockey House is conveniently located so that local players can avoid having to drive long distances for supplies,” the Abramskis said at the time.
That is no longer a concern, as they have recently moved their business inside the Lancerlot facility.
“We’re very excited to welcome Bruce and Hockey House to the Lancerlot Sports Complex,” said General Manager Joe Miller. “Bruce has an incredible passion for hockey and his involvement in many programs within the hockey community makes this relationship a win/win for everyone involved. Ultimately, we all want to continue to grow this great sport and provide the best hockey experiences possible. We hope the Lancerlot Sports Complex and Hockey House relationship lasts a very long time.”
The Hockey House is located in the ice rink area of the building, with hours of operation convenient for hockey players and families. The business is open to the general public not just Lancerlot members or those using the ice rink and ice hockey facilities.
Hockey House remains “the area’s only provider of hockey equipment ranging from entry level weekend warriors to pro level equipment that can withstand the abuse of daily ice time.”
The business offers a wide variety of equipment for all ice and roller hockey needs including skates, sticks, gloves, and gear. They are happy to do special orders for equipment, as well as custom orders for jerseys.
Hockey House supports USA Hockey and the Valley Youth Hockey Association by supplying uniforms and equipment to local players. For the hockey fan, it sells custom jerseys from a wide variety of college and professional teams. Hockey House has exclusive licensing rights for the Junior Dawgs ice hockey team.
“We take pride in supporting our local community by providing affordable options to our local up and coming hockey stars,” said the Abramskis. “We are proud supporters of the Junior Dawgs, Valley Youth Hockey, and the Lancerlot.”
Their original location on Hardy Road currently is open by appointment and serves as an overstock location.
The business now has two specialists, Mike Lovasz and William Statzer, providing advice on gear and equipment repair.
Hockey House offers skate sharpening and skate and equipment repair. The shop accepts slightly used equipment for resale and is, in fact, building a used skate inventory. The goal is to make hockey affordable for the masses.
Hockey House is the first retail venture for the family. Bruce Abramski played hockey from middle school through college. Members of his family were always big hockey fans—the New York Islanders. His father retired from the New York City Police Department and moved to the Roanoke area. Bruce followed his parents here after college.
That’s where he met his wife Melissa, a Roanoke native and a pharmacist for Walgreeen’s. They have an 11-year-old daughter, also an avid Islander fan. Not only is their business growing—so is their family. They are the proud parents of newborn twins, not quite two months old.
In addition to the Hockey House, Bruce owns Elite Warrior Challenge, a Combat Sports Promotion for kickboxing, boxing, and Mixed Martial Arts.
Bruce was out of hockey for about eight years, but then decided to get back into the sport. He discovered when he needed to replace his old equipment that there were no pro shops in the area.
In a market analysis of their competition, they discovered that the closest hockey equipment stores are located in North Carolina and Northern Virginia. Shopping online for hockey equipment is inconvenient because of the inability to try it on before purchasing.
The Hockey House owners have a five-year lease with the Lancerlot. They plan to add another location in southwest county and add lacrosse equipment, accessories, and apparel to their business.
The Hockey House hours of operation currently are Monday through Friday from 4 to 8:45 p.m. The owners also plan to be open on Saturdays and Sundays. Check out the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HockeyHouseProShop/ for their specific hours of operation and specials or call 540-855-4330.