Hamill Rink is Open, GHS Cardinal is Finally Painted on the Ice

This December, Greenwich High School hockey fans will be happy to see, after all these decades, the GHS Cardinal logo has been painted onto ice at Hamill Rink in Byram.

The Cardinal was added to the new ice at the end of the summer, after the artificial turf used used for off season activities was rolled up and put in storage.

The project was the result of a collaboration between the GHS Boys Hockey Booster Club and the Town.

spools of turf

“I’m thrilled that we were able to work with the Town to make this a reality for the Greenwich High School Boys and Girls Hockey programs,” said Lee Milazzo of the booster club, adding that team spirit is important at every level.

The hockey booster club, like the Greenwich Athletic Foundation, has done their best to pump up the players in the backdrop of an aging ice rink, originally an open air rink in the 1950s, with its walls and ceiling added over the years.

There is only a single bathroom for teams and spectators, and there are no showers or locker rooms. In recent years the compressors have malfunctioned, and at the end of every summer, rink staff cross their fingers that the aging ice-making equipment will abide.

Milazzo said that having the center ice logo at the Town rink is one small step in strengthening the bond between players, and is an example to the community of the support the team has.

“The response through social media has been incredibly positive,” he said. “We have received messages from alumni, parents and coaches expressing their excitement about the logo!”

The addition of the Cardinal was part of a tedious process that rink staff undertake every year.

The process of layering on paint and coats of water to create the ice is more than meets the eye.

After they seal the white paint in with several coats of water, rink staff measure precisely and paint on the markings including the face-off dots, center lines, blue lines, goal lines and goal creases. And, of course, now the Cardinal was added with precision among the markings.

The original markings on Hamill rink painted on the concrete slab back in the 1970s. April 2015 Photo: Leslie Yager

“The booster club was a huge help in getting this done,” Milazzo continued. “We were determined to get the logo on the ice this season.”

Milazzo said the booster club and other enthusiastic parents are working hard on many projects to improve the overall experience at the rink.

“New audio, ‘Cardinal Country’ banners and the center ice logo are only the beginning,” he said.

New Cardinal Country banner. Sept 15, 2018 Photo: Leslie Yager

Like the banners, the donated sound system to Hamill Rink will be transferable to a new rink when the existing one is eventually replaced.

The Dorothy Hamill Skating Rink is now open for private rentals and for public sessions on a limited schedule.

The full public session schedule begins Monday, October 8.

For information on skating lessons, hockey, fees, hours, and more, download the brochure.

Fall classes begin early October, so register now!

On Wednesday, Sept 26 at 6:30pm at Bendheim Western Greenwich Civic Center the Parks & Rec board meeting will include a report from board member Rick Loh on any updates to the status of a new Hamill Rink.

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The Dorothy Hamill rink was originally open-air and has been upgraded piecemeal. This photo appears on the wall at the ice rink.

Rich Ernye

Photographed in 2015, Rich Ernye, who runs the Town-owned ice skating rink named after Greenwich’s Dorothy Hamill, led a tour of the rink for the Parks & Rec board. Credit: Leslie Yager