Eric Goldin | The Fate of Valencia Flyers Hockey

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In my opinion, hockey has the best live experience out of any sport. Hockey is full of breathtaking dynamic action that wows crowds with incredible athleticism and toughness. It’s electrifying and flows very smoothly. Fans don’t have to worry about sitting in the stands for an absurd amount of time, but hockey games are long enough so spectators can appreciate the nuances of it. Hockey perfectly combines raw energy, aggressiveness and ferocity with graceful skating, impeccable coordination, catlike reflexes, and elegant maneuverability all in one extraordinary package.

Baseball will always be my favorite sport, but nothing beats the live experience of hockey.  

For hockey lovers, once they step into the seating area of the rink and feel the chill of the ice, it’s enough to give anybody goosebumps. They know they’re about to witness something truly special. Every hockey game, regardless of the final score, is spectacular and highly memorable. 

I’ve been a fan since I was a kid. However, a few years ago, I became dissociated with hockey and stopped watching for a while, but the Valencia Flyers helped me rediscover my passion for it. When I started going to Flyers games in 2018 and saw the intensity of the action on the ice, I was reminded why hockey is so great. Watching the Flyers and the other teams of the Western States Hockey League (WSHL) up close gave me a re-education into how exciting and fun the sport of hockey is.   

Unfortunately, the terrible news came out on March 25 that the Ice Station Valencia is closing down. Many industries have had to suspend operations to stifle the spread of COVID-19, and tough decisions have resulted in the wake of this. Tons of people are getting laid off, and some companies are going out of business because they can’t financially weather the storm of this inactive period. The Ice Station is one of them. It has become another victim in the horrific coronavirus pandemic. 

This leaves the future of the Valencia Flyers in Santa Clarita uncertain. The Flyers were a great way to see live hockey without breaking the bank. With Flyers tickets only costing $8, it was an easy and convenient alternative to going to an L.A. Kings or Anaheim Ducks game. But now, with their home taken away, the Flyers might have to leave town. 

I love seeing the Valencia Flyers play. Even though they struggled all of last season, I always had a great time watching them. It helped me take my mind off my troubles and it gave me something to look forward to.

In the midst of this horrible crisis that the whole world is going through right now, the Valencia Flyers are low on the list of most people’s concerns. Health and public safety should be the No. 1 priority for everybody. However, I hope a viable option will present itself to save the Ice Station and keep the Valencia Flyers in Santa Clarita. It’ll be very sad if this is the end for the Flyers in Santa Clarita. 

I hope once we’ve gotten through this dark time, the beautiful game of hockey will still have a presence here. 

Eric Golden is a Santa Clarita resident.

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