Friday, December 22, 2017

By Lee Samuels

It’s getting real close to Christmas so we wanted to check out the hometown rinks.

Our first stop on Friday morning was at Crystal Palace, the roller rink, which for years was called The Little House of Champions. This is where Micah Sanford skated and played in high tension roller games with some of the best roller players ever in our city including Patrick Stevenson, Leroy Garcia, Billy Tufano and Johnny Oakes. They played on a travelling roller team called the Las Vegas Thunder.

The Crystal Palace scoreboard – very famous – was taken down a few years ago. There are no more games there.

There is a new sign out by the highway which reads

Crystal Palace

Family Fun + Fitness

That’s How We Roll

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Sobe Ice Arena, down the street on North Rancho Drive

There were quite a few lighted Christmas trees in front and inside of the rink. There were ice dancers doing twirls and tricky moves. A coach there was helping out on the ice.

We spotted the big Jason Zucker banner on the west wall and Anthony Greener’s famous jersey 96 was mounted high on the south wall.

Over in the Subway area near the rink entrance were large photos of coach Rob Pallin who coached the UNLV Rebels there and a pic of Las Vegas goal scorer Chris Francis. Years ago Chris’ father Dave was the best blade sharpener in the city inside of the SoBe Pro Shop. Kyle Curry does the blade work now.

Outside the Pro Shop were framed pictures of Chris Francis, Josh Jasek, Adam Naglich, Eddie Del Grosso and our son Eddie Samuels

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Las Vegas Ice Center

The workers were getting the North Rink set for a Winter Wonderland promotion coming up. Lots of holiday lights and Christmas trees. On the south rink was a skater taking shots at an open net. He was tall and a real sharpshooter. A coach – or perhaps a friend – was on the ice with him.

The Pro Shop there was busy.

They sell NHL Vegas Golden Knights gear there.