By Amy Wadas

ROSTRAVER (KDKA) — It’s a day these hockey fans never saw coming, but the votes came in and Rostraver Ice Garden won this year’s Kraft Hockeyville competition.

“We all know when yinzer nation gets together, yinzer nation is gonna be 100 percent and gonna win this thing no matter what,” head coach of the Mon Valley Thunder Chris Phillips said.

Chris Phillips is one of the head coaches of Mon Valley Thunder, a youth hockey program for kids of all ages. Phillips says winning this competition will really help to grow the program.

“We have a hard time every year getting kids in here. We’ve been dealing with this for eight years,” Phillips said.

Rostraver Ice Garden has had a hard time ever since the roof collapsed in 2010 from heavy snowfall.

“We went into debt big time and we lost a lot of business because there was a lot of competition that some some of business,” President of Rostraver Ice Garden Jim Murphy said.

“It’s amazing because this place is going to be new again and I hope people come in and make this organization huge again,” player with Mon Valley Thunder Sydney Banasick said.

Some of their plans for the $150,000? A new 125-ton compressor to keep the rink cool, some new lighting and new flooring in the lobby.

In addition to receiving $150,000, Rostraver Ice Garden will host an NHL pre-season game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and St. Louis Blues on Sept. 24.

Improvements will need to start soon, and the folks at Rostraver Ice Garden are ready for it.

“I have never gotten anything free in my entire life,” Murphy said. “When they announced it was a beautiful thing. It was like hitting the lottery.”

Ten ice rinks across the country competed against each other for the grand prize. Bloomington Ice Garden in Minnesota will receive a $75,000 runner-up prize.

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