The college hockey arena is just as important as the fans and the team itself. Recently referred to as the "Cathedrals of Sports" by the Wall Street Journal, hockey arenas are steeped in tradition and lore, and can serve as quite the intimidation factor for the opposing team.
There are several factors that make each individual arena unique, whether it's the fans, the traditions or the structure itself — each barn has its own personality that a home team quickly learns and uses to their advantage when they're out on the ice.
But which arena provides the greatest home-ice advantage to their team?
New Hampshire's Whittemore Center houses a larger ice surface than most, as the Wildcats skate international rink dimensions (200-by-100 feet), rather than those used in the NHL (200-by-85 feet). While the extra 15 feet may not seem like much, it can definitely change the way the game of hockey is played out on that larger surface.
Maine's Alfond Arena is one that seems to come alive with every game. The older rink sits in the middle of nowhere, and hosts a passionate mix of students and diehard locals at every matchup. The student section is located literally right above the net on one end of the ice, looming over the opposing goaltender in a daunting fashion.
Or is it Conte Forum? BC's expansive home arena is tough enough to roll into considering the storied success of the Eagles' hockey program, but it's also easy to get lost in the depths of the building.
As the newest barn of the bunch, Agganis Arena is uncharted territory for opposing teams, and the Terriers definitely take an advantage as they've quickly adapted to their new digs.
The rising Merrimack program is driving a new set of passionate fans to their home turf, Lawler Arena. After a recent remodeling job, Lawler still holds the grit of its former arena, but now just with modern accommodations. Lawler also features the looming student section over the net where Merrimack attacks twice.
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