While the Jamestown Ironmen kicked off the 2012-13 season last weekend in Minnesota, team owner Kenji Yamada has been busy making plans to extend the club's stay in Jamestown for an additional two years.
"The team is very excited to be in Jamestown," said Ironmen head coach and general manager Dan Daikawa. "We are here for the long haul. I moved my family here before last season and we fell in love with the area. Individually and as a team, we feel like we are part of this community. This is a great opportunity for us to build a successful team and to build the excitement for our sport here in Jamestown."
The owner's decision has officially made the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena the home of the Ironmen through the 2014-15 season.
"I would like to thank the Ironmen organization for showing its faith in the community by extending the team's lease to play in the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena for at least another two years,'' Mayor Sam Teresi said. ''This is great news for the sport of hockey in the City of Jamestown. I'd like to recognize Kurt Silcott, the CEO of the JSBA, and his board and staff for their hard work in maintaining a facility that is conducive to NAHL level competition. Jamestown Ironmen hockey is great, affordable entertainment for the whole family, and I look forward to their ongoing recreational, social and economic contributions to the Greater Jamestown Region."
Tom McFall, a SUNY Oswego alumnus and area youth coach, said that "it is very important for this community and the Arena to have a team of its own.''
"It's also great for youth hockey because it gives young players a chance to look up and see what that next level of hockey is."
McFall has also hosted Ironmen players who are from out of the area and added that Ironmen games provide inexpensive, family fun.
The Ironmen originally moved to Jamestown during the summer of 2011 from Detroit where they were known as the Motor City Metal Jackets. They originally inked a deal which would keep the newly formed Ironmen in Jamestown for an experimental two years.
"These players and coaches have dedicated themselves to become a part of our community,''' Silcott said. '' They attend functions, visit area schools and live and work here amongst our families and friends. We are lucky to have such a great group of young gentlemen as role models for our younger children. These players are passionate about hockey and, hopefully, we'll be watching one of Jamestown's adopted sons on the NHL stage one day. The energy and entertainment they provide on and off the ice is a great asset to the Jamestown community. That combination has really won them over some great and dedicated fans. Hopefully, more and more people will come to the arena and see the level of hockey these young men play and take part in the fun."
After the Ironmen finished with three wins and only one loss this past weekend at the NAHL Showcase Tournament in Minnesota, the team is back at the Jamestown Savings Bank Arena preparing for their home opening weekend.
"We had some success this past week in Minnesota," Daikawa said. "It is very early in the season and we need to build off of what we accomplished at the tournament; keep working everyday to get better as a team."
The Ironmen will open their home schedule at 7 p.m., Friday when they play host to the defending North Division champions Port Huron Fighting Falcons. The two teams will square off again at 5 p.m., Saturday. Tickets are available at the arena box office, by phone at 716-484-2624 or online at jamestownironmenhockey.com.