Toledo, Colorado receive ECHL Best Ice Award

The ECHL on Friday announced that the Eastern Conference’s Toledo Walleye and the Western Conference’s Colorado Eagles are the 2015-16 recipients of the League’s Best Ice Award.

The winners are determined in a vote of ECHL coaches, focusing on those arenas and staffs that provide the best playing surfaces in the League, including the quality of the ice, temperature of the building and surrounding dasher board system.

“Our game is predicated on having a playing surface of the utmost integrity so that our players can perform at their highest level and our fans enjoy quality entertainment,” said ECHL Vice President of Hockey Operations Joe Ernst. “This award recognizes the hard-working crews in our League who pride themselves on ensuring that the athletes in the ECHL will have the best ice to perform on.”

“Huntington Center/SMG Toledo is honored to receive this distinction,” said Huntington Center Operations Manager Jesus Rivera. “Our staff works hard at maintaining the ice surface for the Toledo Walleye. It is challenging to maintain quality hockey ice with the other events at Huntington Center during the hockey season. We receive great support from our SMG corporate office which holds an annual ice school to train staff each year.”

“Being recognized as the Best Ice in the ECHL is a tremendous recognition for the entire facility, and specifically for our ice crew and their daily effort in maintaining great ice,” said Tom Manning, Director of Operations for Spectra Venue Management at the Budweiser Events Center. “The Colorado Eagles are our business partners and the strength of a partnership rests in having your partner’s interests supersede your own. With the variety of events that the facility hosts annually, it is a daily consideration of how our other activities impact the ice quality. We look forward to continuing these conditions for many years to come.”

About the ECHL

Began in 1988-89 with five teams in four states, the ECHL has grown into a coast-to-coast league with 28 teams in 21 states and one Canadian province for its 28th season in 2015-16. There have been 599 players who have gone on to play in the National Hockey League after starting their careers in the ECHL, including 30 who have made their NHL debuts in the 2015-16 season. The ECHL has affiliations with 25 of the 30 NHL teams in 2015-16, marking the 19th consecutive season that the league had affiliations with at least 20 teams in the NHL. Further information on the ECHL is available on its website at as well as on Facebook and Twitter.