On Saturday, co-owners Jamie and Mary Clare Matthews celebrated the expansion of The Pond Hockey Club and its new USA Hockey regulation-sized rink at 9402 United Drive, Austin, next door to Austin Beerworks.
“For the last year and a half we’ve been busting at the seams,” co-owner Jamie Matthews said.
Travis Morin, who has played for both the Texas Stars and Dallas Stars hockey teams, dropped the ceremonial first puck for The Pond’s first adult tournament game. The city of Austin also dubbed Saturday as Pond Hockey Club Day in honor of the club’s achievements.
The Matthews opened The Pond in 2013 with one 10,000-square-foot rink. About six months ago, the couple began an expansion to add a new 15,000-square-foot rink that meets USA Hockey regulations, Jamie said.
“We needed more room for adult five-on-five play and for youth,” Jamie said. “We can now host tournaments.”
He credits the Texas Stars, which play at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park, for the vast interest in hockey in Central Texas.
Hockey rink names
The Pond is named after the pastime’s origins on frozen ponds during the winter.
The new rink is dubbed The Barn, which Jamie said is a nod to the fact hockey likely was originally played inside barns. He said many rinks in the northeastern part of the U.S. are also nicknamed The Barn.