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Indoor roller hockey arena scores big in Ripon

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Indoor roller hockey arena scores big in Ripon

A goalie for the Ripon Savage – Ripon’s member of the American Indoor Hockey League – battles with a forward for adequate position.

Photo contributed/


POSTED March 23, 2012 6:01 p.m.

RIPON – Daniel Costa knew that there was a market for indoor roller hockey in the Central Valley.

So he did what any hockey fan looking for a home rink would do. He built his own.

A lifelong baseball player that chucked his gear when he discovered how much fun hockey was, Costa oversaw construction on the massive Acacia Avenue facility and has since watched interest in the sport grow steadily each year.

According to General Manager Almar Pascua, it’s the youth nights that draw the biggest crowds of the week and the arena tries to play up the experience for both the players and the parents that might be watching.

“We have music when they’re out there warming up and we announce when somebody scores a goal and the kids love to hear their name called,” Pascua said. “It adds something extra to the experience.”

After operating the business for the first year, Costa decided to purchase an American Inline Hockey League franchise he dubbed the Ripon Savage and started an AIHL minor league feeder program – the Ripon Red Tails. By reaching out to players from Sacramento, Fresno and the Bay Area – even netting some former Elite Ice Hockey League Players – he was able to show some of the younger players that there is a future for inline players that want to take it to the next level.

“I’m not good enough to play with these guys, so I did the next big thing – I bought the team,” Costa said with a laugh. “They’re the real deal out there, and anybody who has seen them play can tell that they’re professionals. What’s good about that is that it shows some of the kids that there’s a place that they can take their game in the future if they work at it.

“I think that’s a good message for some of these kids who really love hockey and maybe want to play it at the highest level one day.”

And for those with a love for another popular arena-style sport – football – the facility is currently in the planning stages and hopes to get something up and running to compliment the wide assortment of hockey leagues that fill the docket on a nightly basis.

The digs, Pascua said, are impeccable when stacked up with some other regional facilities which draws serious players from points further away who appreciate the well-kept facility.

“It’s still a young building and the sport here in the Central Valley is growing so quickly,” he said. “People tell us all the time that we have one of the best complexes, and that helps draw in kids that used to play little league and soccer but find that they have more fun playing hockey.”

Powerplay Sports Arena is located at 1043 S. Acacia Street.

JASON CAMPBELL

209 staff reporter

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