Clinton Arena wins Hockeyville USA contest

Published Apr 14, 2018 at 5:07pm

CLINTON — Clinton has the highest number of votes of all finalists and has won Kraft Hockeyville 2018. They will host an NHL pre-season game and have secured $150,000 in upgrades for the Clinton Arena.

The winner, decided by the voting public, was announced on Saturday afternoon Also in the running were Brandon, S.D., Middlebury, Vt. and Shreveport, Louis.

Clinton’s video entry in the contest can be found at: https://www.krafthockeyville.com/.

Clinton’s hockey history dates back exactly 100 years. Albert Prettyman, who eventually coached Hamilton College’s team in this village of 2,000 people, launched a program for stickhandlers by flooding the tennis courts on the university campus. From there, Hamilton’s hockey team was formed and, in time, a covered rink was built in the town center.

Since Clinton enjoyed unusually cold winters, ice for hockey was easy to find and, in the 1920s, a Hamilton grad named Edward Stanley started a local team that played on an outdoor rink. The team was so successful, it gave the town confidence to build its own indoor arena, where the Clinton Comets joined the Eastern Hockey League. By this time, Clinton had gained legendary hockey town status. Clinton High School players, coached by the Comets, went on to play at the best colleges, including Hamilton. By the end of WWII, just about every kid in Clinton was playing hockey. In the 70s, Hamilton added a women’s team, unheard of at the time.

“Clinton has accomplished more at its hockey rink with fewer people and resources (population: 2,000) than any other such community in North America,” the entry says, adding “this is evidenced by the widespread playing of the game from the youngest tykes — both male and female — to senior citizens who participate in the adult programs. As a result, youngsters in the pee-wee program eventually play Clinton High School hockey and the high school players such universities as: Yale, Boston College, Clarkson, and Colgate, just to name a few. Clinton’s hockey players make a name for themselves everywhere they go.”