Getting into Hockey
Kaufman became a hockey parent in 1989 when the first of her three boys started playing the sport. All three went on to play college hockey: Robert at Milwaukee School of Engineering (Division III), Christopher at Robert Morris (D-I) and Brandyn at Central Washington University (club hockey).
In 1990, Kaufman started volunteering for hockey associations. With Tacoma Junior Hockey, she served as secretary, then treasurer and finally president until ’96.
It was in 1992 that Kaufman and her husband, Rob, built the Puget Sound Hockey Center in Tacoma. That facility stayed opened until 2016.
“That first rink wasn’t really the rink we wanted, it was a 240 by 100 feet free-span building and we popped an NHL rink inside that building,” Kaufman said. “There was a plan to move ever since we had got there.”
In about 2015, a building came on the market that was being used for indoor soccer. The footprint was there, along with the building and parking lot, to make the dream happen for a two-sheet rink about 2 ½ times bigger than the old one.
The final piece of glass was installed at Tacoma Twin Rinks on Feb. 28 of this year and it hosted the Pacific District tournament not long after. But on March 16, the building had to be shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“We haven’t been really able to realize it,” Kaufman said.
Along with a fitness center, restaurant, office space, pro shop and party rooms in the rink, many more on-ice activities have been added including figure skating, curling and disabled hockey. The rink is also junior hockey ready if a team happened to come to the Tacoma area.
“We trying to do things that really aren’t being done in the Northwest,” Kaufman said.
Kaufman continues to offer more and more opportunities for young players in her local area to get into hockey, while simultaneously helping open doors nationwide at the junior hockey level.
Story from Red Line Editorial, Inc.