Utica, N.Y. - The Syracuse Stars junior hockey organization is making the move to Utica and the Adirondack Bank Center for the upcoming 2018-19 season.
The Stars are a Junior A hockey team comprised of players from the ages of 16-20, all looking to secure scholarships to play at Division I colleges or to move on to even higher junior leagues.
The team is not only diverse in terms of age, but also in nationality with around seven different countries across North America and Europe being represented on the roster.
Three Stars teams that will call The AUD home, three different levels of junior hockey, with the Junior A team being the highest. Also making the move are the Stars' Premier and U-18 AAA teams.
The Stars have run out of Syracuse since 1985, but after 30-plus years there, it ended up being a relatively easy decision for the team to make the move to Utica.
"We went from a 200 seat facility last year to now there's a 4,000 seat facility with the gym in here and the video room, and all the extras that Rob [Esche] and the Comets staff are letting us use," said Stars Junior A head coach, Paul Kelly. "It was just a no-brainer. We just went from having an okay facility to having the best facility in our league, so it's going to be great for our players this year and our recruits in the years to come."
Not only is the coaching staff raving about the new home, but the players are enjoying their time with the facilities here in Utica as well.
"I just think it's great for the team, like there's a new energy with the team, everyone is really excited to be here," said Kabore Dunn. "It's a pretty special thing we have here to be able to share the facilities with the Comets, the rink is amazing, we have more coaching staff this year, it seems like we're really being treated like professionals, I'm looking forward to the season."
"It's way different because all of the other rinks I've played in are like so small and the ice quality wasn't as good like here," said Dominik Bogdziul. "It's everything you need, it's basically like professional."
The Stars Junior A team opens up the season on Saturday, September 15th at the Adirondack Bank Center against the Northern Cyclones.