Easily the greatest sport in the world, ice hockey is enjoyable to play with a small group of friends on a frozen pond or at a high intensity level on a varsity squad. Here in Rochester we have a nice hub for ice hockey at all levels. The city that gave us great NHL players like Brian Gionta and Ryan Callahan is also a city where you can learn to skate, play in a highly competitive league, or tryout for Nazareth’s varsity team.
If you are planning to come to Nazareth with even the slightest interest in playing ice hockey, then you have a grand spectrum of options at your disposal. First, you might be interested in playing for the Division III men’s hockey team here at Nazareth. The sport is still new to the college with its first season just two years ago, but the team is highly competitive and is for those who are very dedicated to the sport.
If the varsity level and extreme dedication is not for you, then your next option could be the many leagues here in the city of Rochester. The city itself includes five ice hockey complexes that host different leagues including men’s/coed/female groups that run year-round. The many leagues in Rochester are where I find myself playing and the greatest part about Rochester hockey is the large variety of skill-levels The rinks include learn-to-play hockey leagues to high level leagues and everything in between. At the highest levels, you’ll find former NHL players like Randy Cunneyworth and for beginner programs you’ll be matched up with people who have never played ice hockey before and are trying to learn the basics.
My recommendation for those who are interested in joining a league is to join the appropriate division at Billy Gray’s Ice Complex at Monroe Community College; they have long seasons with games occurring once a week. It’s about a ten minute drive from Nazareth so you’ll need a car but the league is well run and many teams are involved.
Lastly, if you are unsure about playing hockey but want to skate for free then I highly recommend you come to the home Nazareth hockey games where you’ll have free admission as a student. After the games the college pays for all the students to get free skate rentals and you will get the opportunity to tear up the ice while skating with the Nazareth varsity team. It’s a great chance to fine tune your skills, and don’t worry about falling because the varsity players are more than happy to help you up and give you a hand in learning a few skating techniques.