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Cherry Hill Arena
Ice House
Cherry Hill Arena

  Venue Particulars  
Address
Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
Weather
Newspaper
  Ballparks Virtual Mall  
Hotels, Dining & Deals in Cherry Hill

  The Facility  
Opened 1959
Demolished Unknown
Ownership
(Management)
Unknown
(Unknown)
Cost of Construction Unknown
Capacity 4,416
Former Names The Centrum
  Other Facts  
Former Tenants Jersey Knights
(WHA) (1973-1974)
Jersey Larks
(EHL)
Jersey Devils
(EHL) (1964-1971)
Population Base 75,000
On Site Parking Unknown
Nearest Airport Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)

Sources: Mediaventures

The New York Golden Blades, who came into existence in 1973 as the New York Raiders, had landed in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, in a rink that used to house the Jersey Larks and the Jersey Devils of the Eastern Hockey League.

Think of it, sports fans. Big league hockey in South Jersey. Or, at least, WHA hockey in South Jersey.

Chances are, the visiting Quebec Nordiques were thinking of it when a recent Sunday night's game ended and, still in uniform, they trooped out a side door in their stocking feet, skates in hand, towels wrapped around their perspiring necks, and boarded an orange-colored school bus. They had dressed in their rooms at the Cherry Hill Lodge; the visiting locker room at Cherry Hill Arena was simply too small.

"Other than that we can't complain," said Jacques Plante, the long-time NHL goaltender who coaches the Nordiques. "They've got tile on the wall, it's neat . . . but it's just too small."

No matter, Plante took it in the right spirit. "I made up my mind nothing would bother me," he said.

Not even the fact that he had to sit behind the team bench - hockey coaches are notorious pacers - because the paying customers in the next couple of rows wanted to see the game. "I sat down so I wouldn't be in the way," he said pleasantly.

So what if the needle stuck and there was no Star-Spangled Banner before the game? Who cares if the ice was so thin that the pipes showed through and the bumps were so pronounced that Howell missed "a perfect pass from the corner" when it hit a dip in the ice and hopped over his stick.

This was the big time. And the fans seemed to enjoy it. They were surprisingly knowledgeable fans, too. "Rejean Houle is a fool," they chanted at a visiting player during a dead spot in the second period. Only knowledgeable hockey fans would know that Houle rhymes with fool.

Yessir, sports fans. Big league hockey has arrived in Cherry Hill. Hurry over. The last WHA team to thrill Philadelphia area hockey lovers skipped to Vancouver. Where will the Jersey Knights go? Baltimore? Jacksonville? Calgary? Oshkosh? Podunk?

And, come to think of it, why did they call them the Jersey Knights, anyway Jersey Transients would be a much better name.

By Frank Dolson of the Philadelphia Inquirer - March 1974

On November 20, 2008 Thomas Valis wrote: From what I remember, the reason they were called the Knights was it was the only jersey that a local sporting goods store had enough in stock to be purchased at the last minute. Thank you,

PS: I actually went to a few EHL games there and one Knights game vs. the Cleveland Crusaders who had Gerry Cheevers on the team. Brings back memories. It was a very small arena. I also attended two roller games matches there and the rodeo. It was about an hour from where I lived. I went with the Cub Scouts to one of the Devils games. Good clean fun. Thanks.

Rod Phillips has worked everywhere in the NHL, but some of his best memories as the Oilers radio play-by-play man were in the World Hockey Association, where teams moved faster than most of the defencemen in the league. "The press box in Cherry Hill, N.J. (across the bridge from Philadelphia) was so small that you couldn't stand up. The roof was only four feet high and you were all hunched over. When somebody shut the door, they cut off one whole end of the rink. The ice was so tilted that when they took a faceoff at centre, the puck slid all the way back to the goalie," said Phillips. "On top of that, the players came into their room after the first period and found that the toilet had backed up. There was stuff floating on the floor."

New York Raiders/New York Golden Blades/San Diego Mariners

Madison Square
Garden

Madison Square Garden

1972-1973
Madison Square
Garden

Madison Square Garden

1973-1974
Cherry Hill
Arena

Cherry Hill Arena

1973-1974
San Diego
Arena

San Diego Arena

1974-1977


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