VT Hockey plays off increased interest in the Roanoke Valley

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ROANOKE (WSLS10)-- It's been more than two decades since Virginia Tech Hockey first took to the ice at the Roanoke Civic Center. Now, 22 years later-- the team is still going strong and working to bring out bigger crowds to the civic center, now known as the Berglund Center.

Before the Roanoke Rail Yard Dawgs returned to town in 2016, Virginia Tech was playing the primetime games on Friday and Saturday nights. This year, the team changed their schedule, taking some of the earlier 1 p.m. and 2 p.m. weekend games. While that change in time has impacted their attendance numbers somewhat-- the team is hoping to build on the local hockey community to get those numbers back up.

Although their attendance rates are lower, VT Hockey players say having the Rail Yard Dawgs in town has had a big positive impact on the local hockey community. They say that it's resparked interest in the game across the Roanoke Valley. Players have also seen a big improvement in the ice quality-- something they've been very excited about.

For more on the VT Hockey team and their upcoming schedule, click here.