Home Rink

For Jason Frykas, the vice-president of the Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League’s St. Boniface Riels, Bell MTS Iceplex staff were lifesavers.

Not long after the ice-making plant at the Riels home rink, Notre Dame Arena, sputtered and wheezed to a premature death, Iceplex staffers such as GM Monte Miller, Programming Manager Dean Court and Master Scheduler Ted Szypowski, sprang into action. It was not long after the Riels organization was told that the earliest time it could get back into Notre Dame Arena was “probably December,” the Iceplex crew found a way to fit the Riels into the already-heavy schedule at a place that has become Winnipeg’s home of hockey.

We’re really fortunate that they were able to accept us into the fold so we can play there this season,” Frykas said. “We’re really excited about the change. It will be a nice change. Notre Dame treated us well, but when the plant went down and we were scrambling for a place to play, the Iceplex staff really stepped up and found us a place to play.

“Our general manager Cam Craig also has a close relationship with St. Boniface minor hockey and they’re coming out to the Iceplex, as well so it’s going to be an exciting season. There has been a lot of discussion with St. Boniface Minor and it’s going to be great to see a lot of young faces out there with us.”

The Riels are the newest tenants at a building that has become exactly what was planned for it the day it was built. The 172,000 square-foot, four-rink, multi-purpose hockey center has become one of the busiest sports venues in Western Canada.

“From the day it was built, our challenge was to make this place the home of hockey,” said Court. “We’ve worked as hard as we possibly can to welcome as many hockey players and their families and fans into our building from the day it opened. I always like to say we are user-friendly for everybody.

“And I think a big reason for our success is what we offer. We have a medical room. We have Focus Fitness. We provide safe, professional services to everyone who comes through the door.”

In 2018, more than 10,000 hockey players are expected to use the ice at Bell MTS Iceplex. It’s not only home for the Winnipeg Jets, Manitoba Moose, Winnipeg Blues, Balmoral Hall Blazers, St. Mary’s Flames and the St. Paul’s Crusaders, but for the entire Manitoba Women’s Jr. Hockey League, the North American Hockey Challenge, the Winnipeg Jets AAA Classic, the Winnipeg Jets Challenge Cup, the Wild, the Monarchs and Warriors and on and on.

“It’s a one-stop shop,” said Miller. “You have your practice or game, work out in the gym and get in extra time at the Ice Lab.

“And even when we didn’t have ice on some rinks in the summer, we were still the home of the Canadian Ball Hockey Championships.”

Sarah Zacharias, the Director of Hockey at Balmoral Hall and the head coach of the Blazers, has been a fan of the Iceplex since the day the Blazers arrived.

“We’ve been part of the Iceplex since the day it opened and we knew from the moment the plans were unveiled that we wanted to be a part of it,” Zacharias said. “At the time, Steve McDonald was running the hockey program and he and Tina Alto, got together and agreed that the future of the Prep hockey program would rely on the success of the Iceplex. At the time, we were using the Winnipeg Winter Club, and they were great to us, but they simply didn’t have the amenities that we receive at the Iceplex.

“It’s really incredible to me what the Iceplex has done for our city and for our team in particular. We’re in the back corner with St. Paul’s right beside the Ice Lab so our girls can get some extra work after practice if they need to. We have everything we need. And I have a great relationship with all the people who work at the Iceplex and they just bend over backwards to help us make the program successful. And it’s really fun to have St. Mary’s in here with us. To have the two strongest female hockey programs in the province housed in the same building, says a lot about the building.”

The Bell MTS Iceplex was opened in August of 2010 and since then, it’s become the most important single building in the province when it comes to both professional and amateur hockey. From the day it opened, it’s been Manitoba’s home rink.

WHOSE HOME RINK IS IT?

Extended Use Agreement Tenants

 Winnipeg Jets                        National Hockey League

Manitoba Moose                    American Hockey League

Winnipeg Blues                     Manitoba Junior Hockey League

Balmoral Hall Blazers            Junior Women’s Hockey League

St. Mary’s Flames                  Canadian Sport School Hockey League

St. Paul’s Crusaders             Winnipeg High School Hockey League

 

Limited Use Agreement Tenants

St. Boniface Riels                  Manitoba Major Junior Hockey League

Winnipeg Wild                        Manitoba AAA Midget Hockey League

Winnipeg Monarchs              Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association

Winnipeg Warriors                 Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association

Assiniboine Park Rangers    Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association

South Winnipeg Twins          Winnipeg Minor Hockey Association

 

Leagues

 Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League

Iceplex Adult Hockey League

17th Wing (Canadian Military) Hockey League

Manitoba Sledge Hockey League

 

Major Tournaments

Winnipeg Jets AAA Classic

Winnipeg Jets AA Showdown

Winnipeg Jets Challenge Cup

High School Provincial Championships

Hockey Manitoba Cup (Adult Championships)

North American Hockey Classic

Mustang Challenge Hockey Tournament

Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre Tournament

Female World Sport School Challenge

John Taylor Piper Classic Tournament of Champions

Sturgeon Heights Husky Classic

High School Rookie Classic

MWJHL Lieutenant Governors Tournament

 

Academies

Jets Hockey Development (JHD)

Jets Hockey Academy (WJHA)

St. James-Assiniboia Hockey Academy (SJAHA)

 

Major Events

NCAA Hockey Summit

Timbits Jamboree

WHL/Hockey Manitoba Program of Excellence

Hockey Manitoba Male and Female Showcases

MMJHL Showcase

Mike Keane Celebrity Classic

AAA All-Star Showcase

2018 Ringette National Championships

2018 National Ball Hockey Championships

Girls Hockey Fest

Winnipeg Jets Fan Fest