Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Facility Review- Rock Ice Center in Dunellen

Over the last two years I've had the privilege to hold many of my "Scoring Concepts LLC" Clinics and Private Lessons at the Rock Ice Center in Dunellen, NJ, and felt it was about time to share my experiences with what I feel is the best HOCKEY facility in Central New Jersey.

Foremost, you need some backstory on Rock Ice.  "On August 2nd (2009) I purchased Rock Ice LLC and became the sole owner of the ice rink here in Dunellen.  I am fully committed to turning the "new" Rock Ice Center into a great place for everyone from the beginner skater to the seasoned hockey player." said John Puskar, owner of Rock Ice.  John has over 20 years of hockey coaching experience, including stints as Head Coach at Morristown- Beard (where he was a 4-time NJ Prep School Champion coach), Whippany Park High School, and the County College of Morris. In the brief time since John's arrival, he's seen his vision take hold, as Rock Ice has constantly made aesthetic improvements, and steadily seen a dramatic rise in the volume of kids coming through the doors to take part in the Jersey Penguins youth hockey program, clinics, several of the High School programs who call it their home rink, and the "Rock Ice Summer Camp".  NJ PowerRanking had this to say about the facility, "Renovated Dunellen rink is much improved over previous years. Fans agree that customer service has improved greatly. Nice grades is many areas especially overhang viewing area that puts spectators right in the action. Locker room improvements helped image considerably."

Yet, more than anything, like a new paint job or bigger locker rooms, I like dealing with Rock Ice and John Puskar for 2 reasons. 
1.  John is a hockey guy.  Many rinks are owned by people who see the facility as pure business, and have never coached or played the game themselves at any reasonable length.  They don't understand anything more than the bottomline... and in my experience, can be brutal to deal with. John is the exact opposite of that model.  He understands the passion coaches have for teaching the game, as he himself has walked in the those shoes.  He takes this experience and acts as a mentor for many young coaches, players and parents experiencing the game on any variety of levels. 
2. The Hockey Programs.  John invites some of the absolute best in the business to coach at Rock Ice.  This summer, in addition to his own "Rock Ice Summer Camp" & "Rock Ice learn to skate Programs", he will host Pro Ambitions hockey camps, world renowned powerskating instructor Robby Glantz, Private Lesson instructors Jeff Gorman and Greg Rinder, and my weekly Scoring Concepts "Friday Night Ice" Skill Clinics.  I'm sure that John could make more money by offering these programs or clinics by doing these with in-house staff... like many other local rinks offer.  Yet, Rock Ice outscources these programs to some of the BEST coaches in the business and as a result gives the kids who train at the facility a far better product.

In the end, Rock Ice offers a premier facility for your youth hockey player to train.  In addition, to having all the above mentioned attributes and outstanding ammenities like a brand new snack bar, Jumbo- Tron style scoreboard, pro shop, a new ceiling lining to ensure great year-round ice, and plenty of parking, Rock Ice has friendly staff that make coming to the rink even more enjoyable.  I highly recommend parents, players and coaches, to check out Rock Ice in Dunellen FIRST when choosing when and where to play.

For Information Check Out-

The Rock Ice Center

125 North Ave
Dunellen, NJ 08812
Telephone:732 752 8600

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