Ice hockey continues to surge in popularity in the local area. A new facility/rink in Gibsonton, Thunderstruck Ice, will likely open in September. The final touches on the construction of the facility are being made. COVID-19 has slowed down the opening of the facility, but it should soon be in business.
While Thunderstruck Ice, located at 10915 S. Hwy. 41, is not a full rink, the facility is about 2,000 square feet. It is one of the few ice facilities that uses synthetic ice, a solid polymer material designed for skating using normal metal-bladed ice skates.
According to the Thunderstruck Ice owner, Amanda Vogt, the ice is produced and manufactured in Clearwater by a company based in Canada. Synthetic ice is not cold—gloves are not required, students can go on the ice wearing shorts and parents can walk out on the ice without skates to assist their beginning skater. They will offer on-ice and off-ice training in the gym located in the facility as well. There also is a special goalie pad for goalies to train on.
Vogt and her husband wanted to start Thunderstruck Ice because of the lack of ice time available at other rinks in the area. The Vogts’ two oldest boys have been playing hockey for about 13 years and currently play for the Newsome hockey team. They feel that they can fulfill the need for ice time in the area to help local players improve and become the best that they can be.
This rink will be open all day, every day of the week. Some local hockey clubs have already expressed interest in renting out the whole facility for practices during certain times slots.
“Our main goal is to really help those that want to learn the sport, and to have a place that is reasonably priced for them to perfect their game,” said Vogt. “Our ultimate goal is to develop great hockey players and teach more kids the game.”
The Vogts plan to have a ribbon-cutting ceremony and soft opening as soon as the facility is ready. For more information and to reserve ice time, visit the website at ThunderStruckIce.com.