The Virginia Tech hockey team has announced the schedule for its 33rd season in the Roanoke Valley. The Hokies open the season at home on Friday, Sept. 21, in a contest against the Richmond Spiders and the following night, Saturday, Sept. 22, against the UNC-Charlotte 49’ers.
In a media release, the Virginia Tech Hockey organization said it is “excited to return home to the Lancerlot Sports Complex in Vinton.”
“Last year, Virginia Tech returned to the ACCHL after an eight-year hiatus,” said Joey Mullen, Virginia Tech Hockey head coach. “This year, we return to the Lancerlot Sports Complex after being away for 24 years. We are looking forward to playing in the rink where it all began in 1984.”
“We are look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with Roanoke Valley Youth Hockey and the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs and beginning a new one with Joe Miller and his staff at the Lancerlot Sports Complex,” said Chris Arnold, Virginia Tech Hockey general manager. “The VT hockey team is extremely excited about the potential for year-round ice and the ability to bid tournaments as a result of the additional sheet of ice.”
In addition to the games against Richmond and UNC-Charlotte, the home schedule includes tilts with Virginia, Penn State-Harrisburg, Stevenson, James Madison, UNC, NC State, Delaware, Rowan, George Washington, West Virginia, and Liberty.
Individual game and season tickets will be on sale soon. Visit www.virginiatechicehockey.com/ for details on both home and away games and updated information on the Hokies.
The Hokies finished the 2017-18 season with a record of 16-9 and ranked in the top 20 in the American Collegiate Hockey Association’s Southeast Region.
The Lancerlot’s addition of a second sheet of ice in Virginia’s Blue Ridge will provide an additional practice location for the Rail Yard Dawgs, as well as serve as a primary practice and game location for several local collegiate club hockey teams and offer the region the ability to host hockey tournaments and skating competitions.
The facility will also be reestablished as a base of operations for Valley Youth Hockey Association as well as the RVAHA and the RNCHL, both adult hockey associations. The second sheet of ice will also provide additional opportunities for adult recreational hockey, public ice skating and recreational figure skating.
Scheduling is in the works for all these programs currently.
Renovations, which began in early winter after Penalty Box Partners LLC purchased the health, fitness, and aquatics facility in December 2017, continue at the Lancerlot with construction going on literally seven days a week aiming for an opening the first week in September.
Currently, an intricate system is being installed for the refrigeration system– layers of piping, sand, insulation, more piping for the glycol coolant, and concrete which the ice is frozen upon.
The rink, when complete, will measure approximately 200 feet in length by 85 feet in width with an air temperature of around 54-58 degrees.
General Manager Joe Miller says that the Lancerlot has purchased their ice resurfacing machine to be delivered in mid-July. It will be housed in what has been an auxiliary building but will be connected to the main building once renovations are complete. The Olympia ice re-surfacer comes with a history— straight from the NHL Boston Bruins.
Locker rooms on the far side of what was formerly the gym area are mostly complete except for the paint. The public side (nearest to the parking lot) will include space for concessions, a pro shop, restrooms, party rooms, and a skate rental area.
The fitness and aquatic side of the facility has been spruced up dramatically with a bright new paint scheme (red, black, and gray) and some motivational fitness-related quotes on the walls.
The front desk has been moved from the foyer to enlarge the entranceway for hockey players and spectators with the reception area now on the health and fitness side of the building. Glass doors are to be added separating the two sections of the facility.
The humidity is noticeably lower in the indoor pool area. The outdoor pool is open for the season. It’s a busy summer at the Lancerlot.
Along with the new look comes a new nickname— “The Lot.”