There’s no place like home (ice advantage)

Established in 1997, the O’Fallon Ice Hockey Club is no new sport for area athletes.  In fact, just one year in to their tenure, the team won their first Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association (MVCHA) Championship. However, the road to a successful hockey season has been tough.  That’s a literal road, one that the team had to travel on for every single away game of the season during the first eighteen years of their existence.

Enter the MetroRecPlex. The MetroRecPlex hosts not one, but two NHL-sized hockey rinks with loads of room for a cheering section; one that’s been full during the home games for their 2017-18 season.

Last season, the skating Panthers brought the heat and melted the competition by winning their second MVCHA Championship. This year, the team is ready to make that title consecutive, playing ten of their fifteen games on home ice.

Coached by Jason Power, the Panthers have eight straight wins with 91 goals total and standout player Graham Suddeth has been breaking barriers all during his hockey career. After an 8-0 shutout against Granite City on Thursday night, Suddeth captured his 105th career goal. The Panthers are rolling through the season also in large part to a combined effort from goaltenders Kristen Smith and Brandon Pryor.

While the team is reaping the joys of a successful season and is more than thankful for the ability to now have a “home field advantage” per se, they remain humble and continue to give back to the community that has provided them so much support. During five home games during December, the team is collecting canned goods and other non-perishable food items that will be donated to the O’Fallon Food Pantry.  The final donation night is December 21; an evening that also happens to be senior night.  There are three games left to be played on the MetroRecPlex ice during the team’s regular season: December 21st and 26th, and January 2nd.  Don’t miss your opportunity to see these players in action and learn why the MetroRecPlex has proven that when it comes to ice hockey, there really is no place like home.