Whatever your hockey needs, there is a great chance that it can be met at the Hudson Valley Hockey Company, which is located in the Jefferson Valley Mall.
“We sell everything you need for ice hockey and roller hockey,” the store’s owner, Fran Vazquez of Patterson, said recently. “We sell everything from blades and roller blade wheels, all the way up to helmets, sticks and skates. We sell equipment, but we also service the equipment as well. We sharpen skates. We repair equipment. It’s a full-service hockey business.”
Hudson Valley Hockey is the first business Vazquez has owned. “Hockey is something I’ve known since I was five yearsold,” he recalled. “I’ve been working on it in one aspect or another as a player, referee, coach and I worked at a pro shop for quite a while I was going to school at Plattsburg State. Once I came home I didn’t find a job in my field for a little bit and I was encouraged by my parents actually to pursue a business plan of a hockey shop because that was something that I identified as a hole in the market in this area, something that wasn’t present and something that I could offer assistance and knowledge to people.”
The business originally opened in January 2014 in Mahopac. Hudson Valley Hockey recently moved to the Jefferson Valley Mall, where it opened in March. “The reason why we moved is because we wanted more visibility for the business. We wanted more foot traffic. And we just wanted a bigger space,” Vazquez said.
Vazquez said most of his customers live in northern Westchester and Putnam, but he added some customers also come from such other locations as Dutchess, Connecticut and New Jersey.
The store sells to local teams in the Mahopac Roller Hockey League, the Bedford Bears, the Putnam Panthers and several high school teams in the area, Vazquez said.
Vazquez said he joined the Peekskill Roller Hockey league at the age of six. Sam Oitice, the league’s commissioner, a referee and a coach, “took me under his wing and show me hot to play the game,” Vazquez said.
Oitice was a firefighter who died as a result of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001. “He was a great man,” Vazquez said. “The way that Sam treated me and the way he brought me under his wing and showed me the game is kind of what I want to do here.”
At the Brewster Ice Arena, Vasquez provides private hockey lessons.
Vazquez explained his passion for hockey. “The thing I like about the game mostly is the intensity,” he said. “The intensity of the game is something that you will see from the lowest levels of hockey to the highest level to the professional level. The bottom line is hockey is something that is kind of an esoteric sport. A lot of people want to play the game but don’t know how and don’t know where to go. So, I found myself in a position where I would be able to assist in that.”
Hudson Valley Hockey Company is located in the Jefferson Valley Mall, 650 Lee Blvd. For more information call 914-556-6501 or visit http://hudsonvalleyhockey.com/home.html. The store also has a Facebook page.