Local Chaparral Ice Teams Kick Butt, Head to Canada for International Tournament

Chaparral Ice sent seven teams to the Silver Sticks, and all seven made it to semifinals, with four advancing to finals. Two teams, specifically Chaparral Ice’s 12U B team and 16U A team, won it all in their divisions and are headed to Ontario in January to compete against the best teams in their division from Canada.

This is huge for the hockey community in Austin, especially considering how small they are compared to teams in other parts of the country where there are more resources and people interested in the sport. Right now, they’re fundraising to get travel costs covered before 2018 – The 12U B and 16U A teams, coached by Dan Sutterman and CJ Demmons.

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TEXAS STARS, CHAPARRAL ICE ANNOUNCE POSTGAME OPEN ICE PARTNERSHIP

CEDAR PARK, Texas – The Texas Stars, American Hockey League affiliate of the NHL’s Dallas Stars, announced today they are partnering with Chaparral Ice Center, Austin’s only year-round ice skating facility to expand the availability of postgame ice skating for fans by adding six more games during the 2017-18 season and offering $5 skate rentals for after those games.

The Stars already announced that Dec. 30 against San Diego and April 14 against San Antonio would be postgame open ice games. Fans will still be allowed to walk on the ice during designated postgame open ice nights with the Stars, but for those who would like to skate, Chaparral will be providing skate rentals for $5 during each game by signing up at the Chaparral Ice table before the end of the second period. Skates can be picked up before hitting the ice, and Chaparral Ice will also have a designated area on the ice for hands-on skating instructions.

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STARS BOOST YOUTH HOCKEY IN CENTRAL TEXAS

Deep in the heart of football-crazy central Texas, a seed was planted eight years ago. When the Texas Stars landed in Cedar Park in 2009, they sparked a renewed interest in youth hockey that has become a symbiotic relationship between the AHL club and the local youth leagues. In a state where football is a way of life, youth hockey participation in Austin has grown 42% since the Stars arrived.

No one has a better view of the success of youth hockey in Austin than Angie Vaught, the general manager of the local Chaparral Ice rink and hockey director for the Austin Metro Hockey League. A native of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Vaught grew up playing hockey in Canada and later moved to the United States and competed with the Americans in the 2002 Ringette World Championships, a sport similar to hockey.

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Big Plans for Local Rink Chaparral Ice Under New Ownership

CHAPARRAL ICE HAS BEEN PART OF THE HOCKEY COMMUNITY IN AUSTIN FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS. ORIGINALLY STARTED BY THE COLLINS FAMILY, WHO WANTED TO SEE A PLACE FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND OTHERS IN THE COMMUNITY TO FIGURE SKATE, NEW OWNERSHIP WITH A HOCKEY BACKGROUND HAS REINVIGORATED THE LOCAL RINK AND SET OUT A PLAN TO FURTHER GROW HOCKEY IN AUSTIN.

THE MAN BEHIND THAT PLAN IS RYAN RAYA. IN JANUARY, HE COMPLETED THE PURCHASE OF THE RINK FROM THE COLLINS FAMILY AND PUT INTO MOTION NUMEROUS PLANS TO GROW THE GAME AND ALL OF THE PROGRAMS AT "CHAP".

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Trade the Heat for Winter Temperatures With Chaparral Ice Skating

While ice activities may not be the norm here in Central Texas, Chaparral Ice is curating memorable experiences for all who visit. When the Texas temperatures get too high for you, grab a pair of skates and glide into winter temperatures.

Charles Collins used to drive his daughters back and forth to San Antonio, when their passion for figure skating drew them to the nearest public ice rink for practice. Eventually, he decided Austin needed its own ice skating rink, and the idea of Chaparral Ice was born. Two decades later, and now owned by Ryan Raya, the facility gets over 71,000 visitors annually and has become the heart of a tight-knit community of amateurs and professionals on the ice.

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AUSTIN'S BEST AIR-CONDITIONED ACTIVITIES TO BEAT THE HEAT

Austin can be a brutal place to spend your summers. The free outdoor theater, endless games of Ultimate Frisbee in the park, and waterfall-based hiking are all wonderful ways to spend June and July, but once August's triple-digit days come a-calling, we’re all pretty burnt out on bright sunshine (sometimes literally). Locking yourself in your room and blasting the air conditioner is both expensive and dull, but fortunately, there are lots of places in town that are happy to do it for you! Here are some of our favorite ways to get out of the heat while still enjoying the best that Austin has to offer.

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Local hockey team headed to China

Central Texas is far from your traditional hockey community.

While there is minor-league hockey team in Cedar Park (the AHL’s Texas Stars), there are only two full-time ice rinks in Central Texas. However, that hasn’t stopped the sports growth and Central Texas will have hockey players competing in an international competition next month in China.

“When you walk around and tell people we hockey in Austin, they don’t really believe you right away,” Ryan Raya said. “Then I tell them we’re taking a group of Austin kids to China, and then they get really suprised.”

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