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Upper Arlington students give back to community with brand new rink

by Jack Lyttle / Columbus Blue Jackets

UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio -- The growth of hockey in central Ohio got another boost on Nov. 4 from the City of Upper Arlington and two dedicated Golden Bear hockey players who advocated and raised money for a new street hockey rink.

Blue Jackets head coach (and Upper Arlington resident) Todd Richards was on hand to net the first goal at the new rink. During his remarks to the assembled crowd, Richards said the new facility was another sign of the Columbus community’s love of hockey.

He also congratulated two young men who translated their passion for the game into an all-out effort to get the rink built in their community.

Hodding Hall, now a student at the University of Cincinnati, and Mark Cialone, a student at Miami University, returned home, having raised $11,000 for the project, to lead the ceremony.

Hall and Cialone both played hockey at Upper Arlington High School, a school with one of the best hockey traditions in all of Ohio. Hall was named the Golden Bear’s most improved player following the 2010-11 season.

Upper Arlington has one of the longest established hockey programs, having taken the ice as varsity team nearly 35 years ago. The school has captured three regular season titles over the nine years of the Capital Hockey Conference (CHC).

The CHC features 14 of the region’s best hockey schools, who compete each year for the Blue Jackets Cup. The conference championship tournament is played at the Dispatch Ice Haus at Nationwide Arena.

Former Ohio State hockey player Jay Graham serves as head coach at Upper Arlington.

Among the other community leaders on hand to dedicate the new park was Katie Smith, former Ohio State All-American, U.S. Olympian, and all-time leading scorer in women’s professional basketball.

Smith, who jokingly admitted to being “a little rusty,” scored the first basket at the park’s new basketball court.

The Blue Jackets would like to congratulate Hodding and Mark on their tremendous and honorable accomplishment.

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