Sacred Heart announces Webster Bank Arena as new home rink

Sacred Heart and Webster Bank Arena announced a new five-year partnership Monday for the Pioneers to play their home games at the facility beginning with this upcoming 2016-17 season.

Webster Bank Arena has been home to the New York Islanders’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, since the team’s inception in 2001.

“Being able to call a venue such as Webster Bank Arena our home is an important step for our hockey program and to provide the best opportunity for our student-athletes,” said SHU executive director of athletics Bobby Valentine in a statement. “The game day experience for our student-athletes, alumni and fans will be tremendous and we are excited about what the season and future will bring.”

“I am grateful for the commitment of the university to the SHU hockey program,” SHU coach C.J. Marottolo added. “The new locker room will have custom lockers and provide a home for our current players, and being in a venue such as Webster Bank Arena will be an asset to our recruiting.”

As part of the agreement, SHU hockey will have a dedicated locker room, as well as athletic training and equipment areas, a team room and coaches offices.

The Pioneers’ 2016-17 home schedule begins on Saturday, Oct. 15 when 2015 national champion Union visits for a 2 p.m. EDT contest.