Hockey

Slap shots return to downtown when Monsters bring hockey back to Selland Arena

In a 2013 file photo, Ben Campbell of Fairbanks Ice Dogs, left, tries to block Fresno Monsters’ Kyle Sucher in a matchup at Gateway Ice Center.
In a 2013 file photo, Ben Campbell of Fairbanks Ice Dogs, left, tries to block Fresno Monsters’ Kyle Sucher in a matchup at Gateway Ice Center. Fresno Bee file

For the first time in several years, the Fresno Monsters hockey team will return to the ice for games at Selland Arena in downtown Fresno.

The team, which plays in the junior Western States Hockey League, announced Monday its final three home games of the 2017-18 season will be at Selland. The three-game stand against the Long Beach Bombers will be Feb. 15, 16 and 17, with game time at 7:30 p.m. each night. The Monsters have played at Gateway Ice Center near Marks and Clinton avenues in west-central Fresno since the 2013-14 season.

“In order to demonstrate that ice hockey is a viable, sustainable entertainment opportunity benefiting the citizens of Fresno and the downtown area, the Fresno Monsters are issuing a call to arms – a request to pack the house and fill Selland Arena,” said James Karr, the team’s director of operations, in an email Sunday. “Simply put, we are calling on the community for support and the support of everyone’s family, friends and co-workers.”

Selland Arena was home to hockey starting in 1967, a year after it opened, when the Fresno Falcons, an adult team, began a run of more than 30 years in downtown Fresno before bolting to Save Mart Center in northeast Fresno after the 2002-03 season. The Falcons moved back to Selland in 2008 under what was to have been a 20-year lease with the city of Fresno, but abruptly shut down operations in December 2008.

After the Falcons folded, the Fresno Monsters stepped into Selland for several years before moving their games to Gateway Ice Center.

  Comments