At the Cronin Rink, there’s no such thing as an off-season

By Pete Legasey

For the Journal

It may be summer, but there is still plenty of action on the ice at Cronin Rink. Rink manager John Carroll told the Journal this week that the use of the rink has gone up this summer by nearly a third over last year, which bodes well for a busy hockey season. Just as it does during the fall and winter, Cronin has hosted a variety of hockey leagues and beginners’ skating programs during the warmer months.

In particular, this week is sure to be a memorable one at Cronin. This Friday, Cronin will welcome a group of new draft picks and other young prospects from the Boston Bruins organization. The aspiring NHL stars will work on basic hockey skills with kids in the FUNdamentals program, which is hosted by FMC Ice Sports (which manages and operates Cronin Rink) and the Boston Bruins. The FUNdamentals program runs every Wednesday at Cronin and frequently includes special guests from the Bruins, including mascot “Blades” the Bear and the Bruins’ street team.

The Bruins prospects will also take part in a scrimmage with pee-wee and squirt level youth hockey players. More than 1,000 kids from in and around Revere applied to participate in the scrimmage, and Cronin used a lottery to decide on the lucky youths who would fill the 25 available spots.

Next month, kids and adults will have the chance to learn to improve their power and speed on the ice from an internationally respected instructor when Laura Stamm holds her power skating clinic August 17-20. Stamm has been a trainer for such NHL franchises as the Los Angeles Kings, the New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils, the New York Islanders and the Hartford Whalers. She was also a power skating instructor for various teams in Sweden, Norway and Iceland and a number of award-winning collegiate hockey players.

Special events and programs like power skating and FUNdamentals complement a handful of daily activities that keep the ice alive throughout the week at Cronin. There are adult pickup hockey games several nights each week, and New England Senior Hockey League games on Thursday nights. There are also two-hour skills clinics for junior high and high school skaters on Tuesdays, and freestyle skating sessions for intermediate and advanced skaters on Wednesdays before the FUNdamentals program.

Thursdays are an especially busy day at Cronin, with the adult games sandwiched around skill lessons for the New England Future Stars select program. The rink is generally closed on Fridays and Saturdays (except when there are special events, such as this Friday), and Boston Latin hosts a girls’ hockey clinic on Sundays. Families can also book the ice at Cronin for birthday parties, complete with pizza, cake and, of course, skate rentals.

The summer schedule at Cronin will run through August 23, after which the facility will immediately switch gears for the fall and winter season. Most youth hockey leagues in the area begin their season immediately after Labor Day, and many practice at Cronin in the two weeks leading up to their season openers.

Many local families will get to see their young hockey stars play right here in Revere during the winter season, with the Valley League set to hold many of its games at Cronin Rink.

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