Elmwood Park hockey fans celebrate NHL’s return
Dominic Pilati, Jr., 6, jokes with his dad Dominic on Saturday at the Franklin Park Ice Arena, which just like Elmwood Park's new Fullerton Avenue Skate Park has been busy despite the NHL lockout. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 25, 2013 11:27AM
ELMWOOD PARK — Hockey fans in Elmwood Park are excited the National Hockey League strike is over and games have returned to television and the United Center.
Elmwood Park 18-year-old James Oggerino, a Fenwick High School student and member of the school’s hockey team, was out with friends Jan. 14 playing floor hockey at the village’s new Skate Park, 7330 W. Fullerton Ave.
“I like football but there’s nothing better than hockey,” said the Chicago Blackhawks fan.
Vince Coha, an 18-year-old St. Patrick High School student who also got his hockey fix last week at the floor hockey rink, said he’s happy the strike is over.
“We usually try to go to (Blackhawks) games,” he said. “My buddy and my uncle have season tickets. We try to get out a few times a season.”
He added that prefers to go when the Blackhawks are playing the Vancouver Canucks or the Detroit Red Wings.
“I respect Detroit, but Vancouver, no,” he said.
Angel Pineda, 18, lives only a block from the skate park. He said he wasn’t into the sport until he started showing up at the floor hockey rink and decided to give it a try.
“I seriously fell in love with it,” Pineda said.
The Triton College freshman has only been playing a few months, and has not yet picked a favorite team.
“I didn’t jump on the bandwagon when they (Blackhawks) won the Stanley Cup, but now I can watch quite a bit of it since I play,” he said. “I can (ice) skate, but to skate and play (hockey) is extremely difficult.”