For nearly 60 years Ocean Ice Palace was the place to learn to skate, to partake in youth leagues, adult leagues, tournaments or just have fun. It was built in 1962. For people 58 and younger, it’s never not been there. A fixture in Brick. A touchstone of their lives.

The owners posted the following message to their Facebook on Tuesday, although it’s since been removed.

“After almost 60 years of Family Owned & Operated businesses, Ocean Ice Palace & Ocean Hockey Supply will be closing their doors at the end of this month. We are extremely thankful to all the friends who have become family and customers who have become friends over the years. The decision was not made lightly and certainly not without being given much thought.”

So why? We don’t know. I assume the pandemic could not have helped. But the Dwulet family is being fairly tight-lipped.

According to Patch.com, about five years ago there was some controversy when the Brick Township School District quarreled with the rink over fees. The following year their hockey teams abandoned them and moved to the Howell Ice Arena.

Last year, the Brick Hockey Club also left them, taking their teams to Jersey Shore Arena in Wall.

Everything adds up and leads to these things I guess. People will miss this place for a long time.

New Jersey 101.5’s own Sam Doyle used to play there. Along with so many others he’s sad to hear the news.

“Ocean Ice Palace was an amazing rink full of great history,” Sam told me. “From the always great War at the Shore tournament, to seeing James van Riemsdyk’s old jersey hanging right by the ice and the always beyond freezing cold temperature when you walked in, it had everything. It was the first rink I skated at when we moved to New Jersey, so it’ll always have a special place in my heart and I’m sad to see it go.”

For those who don’t know, James van Riemsdyk is, to put it in “Anchorman” terms, kind of a big deal. He played for Toronto for six seasons and is now back with the Flyers. He had plenty of games at Ocean Ice Palace in his youth.

Another big deal who started at this place is Jim Dowd who played in the NHL for 17 years and won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 1995.

So yeah. This isn’t just a place. It’s that kind of place. It’s history. And it’s going away. And it’s another piece of what makes New Jersey special that will be missing from hearts in Ocean County.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski. Any opinions expressed are Jeff Deminski's own.

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