Youth hockey players skate away from heat at Goggin Ice Center on Miami campus

On one of the hottest days so far this year, dozens of area boys recently suited up in heavy pads and laced up their ice skates to play hockey.

You can do that if you’re among the many young boys attending a summer hockey camp at the cooler-than-cool Goggin Ice Center on Miami University’s campus.

While the temperatures read 95 degrees with skyrocketing humidity in the sun Tuesday, inside Goggin it’s a brisk 60 degrees - and a chilled 40 percent humidity - all perfect for maintaining the minus 32-degree icy hockey rink surfaces.

Summer youth hockey camps are a summertime tradition at Miami, home of the famed skating RedHawks men’s’ team, which has consistently been among the top-rated collegiate hockey squads in the nation and twice a Frozen Four finalist for NCAA championships.

The Miami arena is also home to the school’s internationally recognized, women’s synchronized skating team.

Boys 12 years old and younger are in camp now and staying the week on campus, living in nearby Miami student residence halls a short walk from the Oxford-campus hockey arena.

Later this summer, girls’ hockey takes to the ice for their instructional camps.

The striking contrast in climes - from the scorching outside air to the frozen fun inside - is part of the camps’ appeal, said Kevin Ackley, senior director of Goggin Ice Center.

“We’re pretty fortunate to be inside on a day like today,” said Ackley. “They (kids) always talk about when they leave the arena they walk into a wall of humidity and heat.”

“We bring in about 120 kids a week and every week is a different age group.”

Margo Rutledge Kissell, a spokeswoman for Miami, said it’s a fun treat in contrasts.

“When the summer heat sizzles, there is no cooler place on Miami’s campus than Goggin Ice Center,” said Kissell.

“When many Miami students are away during the summer, the campus still hums with activity thanks to numerous youth camps, including the ones at Goggin that include hockey, figure skating, and synchronized skating.”

The public has to wait until October, said Ackley, if they need a cool, recreational skate or want to participate in some skating lessons offered by the school in the state-of-the-art, 3,500-seat arena, which sports an NHL-sized ice rink.

For more information on all the year-around programs offered at Goggin see its website.

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