MADISON, WI - The Madison Capitols, a member of the United States Hockey League, will be moving to Hartmeyer Ice Arena on Madison’s East Side for the 2017-18 season, Chairman Ryan Suter announced on Friday, pending league approval. In addition, Suter has named Andrew Joudrey as the organization’s President.
“We have enjoyed playing at Veterans Memorial Coliseum, and they have been great partners of our over the last three years,” said Suter. “We want to move into a venue that will allow us to create a more intimate and engaging fan experience during our games.”
Hartmeyer Ice Arena opened in 1960 and seats 3,500 fans for hockey. The facility originally housed the Wisconsin Badgers men’s ice hockey team before they moved to the Dane County Coliseum in 1967. Hartmeyer Ice Arena currently hosts the Patriots Youth Hockey Association and the Madison Eastside Lakers Hockey Team.
“It has been a privilege to work with and host the Madison Capitols over the last three seasons,” said Mark Clarke, Executive Director of Alliant Energy Center. As part of Alliant Energy Center’s strategic planning, it has partnered with a National venue management company to help market the Coliseum and bring more concerts and family shows to the campus. “With the expected increase in concerts, the availability for home hockey dates may be limited,” said Clarke.
“We are excited to continue my family’s vision of developing hockey players from the first time they put on skates until they go off to college,” continued Suter. “Hartmeyer Ice Arena will bring an exciting atmosphere, great sight lines, and flexibility to create special promotions and ticket offers for the community.
‘We have some renovations in the works for the arena this summer to bring it up to the USHL’s Tier 1 standards, and we’re excited to share them with the Madison community.”
Joudrey, 33, played 11 seasons of professional hockey with the Columbus Blue Jackets (NHL), Springfield Falcons (AHL), Hershey Bears (AHL), and Mannheim Eagles (DEL). The native of Bedford, Nova Scotia, played college hockey for the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2003-07. As a Badger, Joudrey collected 93 points (31-62=93) in 160 games over four seasons, and was a member of the 2005-06 NCAA National Championship team. The former center was drafted by the Washington Capitols in the eighth-round (249th overall) in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, and went on to win two Calder Cups with the Hershey Bears (2009 and 2010). Joudrey also won the Bears’ IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year in 2011, and the Falcons’ IOA/American Specialty AHL Man of the Year in 2014 for his community efforts.
“I’m looking forward to the start of the season,” said Joudrey. “It’s a great opportunity, and I appreciate the opportunity from Ryan and the ownership to do this job. There will be a lot of work in front of us, but I’m looking forward to being part of the process of building on the foundation that’s been set in place, and bringing the Madison Capitols forward.”
The Capitols mission is to develop players on and off the ice, and help them earn college scholarships where they can continue to improve their hockey skills while gaining a great education. A total of 17 Capitols players from the 2016-17 season have committed to play D1 hockey in the coming years. Throughout the organization’s three years in Madison, 52 players have earned college scholarships.
Madison native Mick Messner finished the 2016-17 season in second place on the team with 31 points, and he is the first Capitols player to go through the AAA program, play for the USHL team, and is committed to play for the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Messner joins 15 of his teammates from this season who played in the AAA program, and he is one of 15 Wisconsin natives that suited up for the Capitols during the 2016-17 season. Messner will join goaltender Daniel Lebedeff at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for the 2018-19 season.
Former Capitols forward Mitch Hults recently completed his sophomore year at Lake Superior State University, and signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Anaheim Ducks on March 20, 2017. Hults is the first former Capitols players to sign an NHL contract. He finished the 2016-17 with the AHL’s San Diego Gulls and competed in two playoff games. Hults recorded 34 points (13-21=34) and 90 penalty minutes in 55 games with the Capitols during the 2014-15 season.
Former Capitols defenseman, and Mitch’s younger brother, Cole Hults, was drafted in the fifth round, 134th overall, by the Los Angeles Kings in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Hults, 19, led the Capitols during the 2016-17 season with 26 assists, 32 points (6-26=32), and 112 penalty minutes. The native of Stoughton, Wisconsin, led Madison defensemen with six goals.
Former Madison center Tyson McLellan was a member of the 2017 NCAA Champion University of Denver Pioneers. McLellan appeared in 46 games during the 2015-16 season, and recorded 25 points (10-15=25) and 30 penalty minutes.
The Capitols will drop the puck on their fourth season in the USHL at Hartmeyer Ice Arena when they host the Des Moines Buccaneers at 7:05 p.m. on Friday, October 6. For information on season tickets and flex packages, call the Madison Capitols at 257-2277 or visit them online at www.madcapshockey.com.
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