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Oakland Ice Center offers skating, free hockey games

Among offering free hockey game nights on Mondays, the Oakland Ice Center Ice Skating Rink offers a variety of ice skating activities, including hockey, public skating and curling after opening its doors to the Oakland community in 1996.

More commonly known as the Oakland Ice Center, the facility operated by Silicon Valley Sports and Entertainment offers a National Hockey League (NHL) size rink and an Olympic-size rink for public use, according to the center’s website. The ice rink is indoors and open year-round.

Adult and youth hockey, speed, public and figure skating, ice dancing and broomball, curling and event rentals are all available at the center.

Katya Svizeva, a senior economics major frequents the ice rink to support her boyfriend’s hockey hobby. “I think it’s great. This league is for people who have dreams of turning hockey into a career. It is also a healthy way to exercise and release aggression.”

Her boyfriend is Jamal Baker, a seven-year player for the Mavericks Hockey Team at the Oakland Ice Center. “This is a good place to bring a date, but hockey is a sport where the audience definitely brings sweatshirts and blankets,” he said.

“The games are entertaining and the center is conveniently located. Also, it is fun to go and cheer on the players because you get to be as loud as you want,” said Rhiannon Hecht, a graduate student in the Interdisciplinary Computer Science (ICS) program.

Public skating for adults costs $8, youth (12 and younger) costs $7 and skate rentals are $3. A Monday through Friday matinee from 1:15 to 2:45 offers a $5.50 admission with a $1.50 skate rental, and Sundays are family skate days. Tuesday Evening Cheap Skate offers a more economical package at the rink, and Tuesdays and Thursdays are Coffee Club days.

A snack shop is offered from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, and from 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. A vending machine is also on site and visitors may bring their own snacks and drinks.

Hockey games have start times ranging from 7:15 to 10:00 p.m., according to Baker.

They are made up of three periods of 15 minutes each in the Maverick’s Gold division league. There are seven other teams in the league that the Mavericks play against.

“The players on my team are all older guys who used to be really good hockey players in their youth but now have real jobs. They’re all ‘wives with kids’ guys playing hockey and then going back home,” Baker said.

Any questions pertaining to the ice skating programs can be directed to the Oakland Ice Center at 510-268-9000.