WEBSTER, NY (WROC) Since the Webster Ice Arena opened in early August, kids have been taking to the ice and practicing non-stop…and that’s about it. Practicing.
“And we want to be able to play games and also go to tournaments,” says Jeanne Barreca, Webster Youth Hockey Administrator.
Barreca with Webster Youth Hockey says in New York, hockey players are allowed to train with each other, but can’t compete in-state.
“And right now we’re still on-hold. And it’s the end of September,” she says.
While hockey players in New York can’t compete in-state, some are actually leaving for out of state for other places like Pennsylvania to play. There was one recent tournament held in Erie, PA.
Barreca says almost all states surrounding New York allow hockey games in some fashion, and it’s not sitting well with hockey moms and dads.
“And a lot of our parents are upset because they don’t want to travel out of state. They want to stay in nice, safe New York. But they also want to play hockey,” she says.
“Everything’s been postponed. They’re supposed to have a tournament in Pittsburg, one up in Lake Placid, everything’s been canceled for the year,” says KC Kusse, whose kid brother plays hockey.
Kusse has played hockey for 20 years. Kusse says it’s time to let the youngsters play and ‘light the lamp’.
“I mean, they opened up all the gyms and everything. Restaurants and everything. But we can’t go out and watch our family play hockey,” he says.
Barreca says parents are already talking about stopping with taking kids to practice until they’re allowed to compete. She says that would have a disastrous consequence.
“That’s going to put the rinks out of business because hockey is 85% of their business,” she says. She adds if the rinks go broke, the future of hockey in New York would be on thin ice.
News 8 was told hockey facilities are banding together in New York and will be presenting a letter to Governor Andrew Cuomo to ask for games to take place in-state.