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Rolling back into town: Middle Village Players Roller Hockey League gearing up for upcoming season

Jun. 21, 2023 By Anthony Medina

Only one sport combines the love of skating with the intensity of hockey and without the ice this summer at the James Bohan Hockey Rink in Middle Village, residents can expect to see more kids with skates taking part in the invigorating sport of roller hockey.

The Middle Village Players Roller Hockey League is making its comeback with a series of free roller skating and hockey lessons, under new management and a brand new motivation to get kids on the rink. The league will host lessons and clinics at the rink throughout the summer ahead of its official start in September.

“Honestly, at the end of the day, there’s no money in this. It’s really just to give back to the community, help everybody out and hopefully create a sport that will get kids off the couch a little more and outside.” said Paul Pogozelski, president of the MVP Roller Hockey League.

Over the course of two days last week, Pogozelski, with the help of his family and friends, helped to clean over two-thirds of the James Bohan Hockey rink.

Dave Maurer (left), a retired postal worker and local resident, volunteers to clean the hockey rink. He stands beside Jack Pogozelski, son of Giedre and Paul Pogozelski. Photo courtesy Paul Pogozelski

Years of neglect, including graffiti and what Pogozelski described as remnants of an illegal fireworks show, were washed away. Pogozelski thanked resident Gaspare Bonventre, who supplied the pressure washer. He hopes to finish cleaning the rink soon.

Gaspare Bonventre supplied the pressure washer for the hockey rink clean-up. Photo courtesy Paul Pogozelski

Pogozelski emphasizes affordability and accessibility to the greater Middle Village, Maspeth and Ridgewood neighborhoods through the hockey league.

“With ice hockey, if I want to put a kid in ice hockey and have them in competitive ice hockey, the cost is gonna be between $6,000 and $7,000 a year,” Pogozelski said. “And with roller hockey, the cost is about $200 a season, So it’s about $300 to $400 a year.”

Working hand-in-hand with previous league members, including Eileen Maloney, the former hockey league president who was vital to obtaining the necessary permits for the not-for-profit to utilize the roller rink, Pogozelski remains thankful for the community support along the way.

Six-year-old Markas Magic Pogozelski makes his debut at the Juniper Valley Park Roller Rink. He is the youngest of Giedre and Paul Pogozelski’s three children.Photo courtesy Giedre Pogozelski

Anyone interested in learning more about the hockey league should email [email protected] and follow the Middle Village Roller Hockey League on Facebook.

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