9:57 a.m., Dec. 22, 2008----Whether its buying a new pair of skates or just getting them sharpened, the new Crystal Sports Pro Shop, located in the lobby of the University of Delaware's Fred Rust Ice Arena, is worth checking out.
The shop, owned and operated by M.F. Schurman, a former player in the National Hockey League, features a wide variety of equipment, including skates, hockey sticks, blades, padding, tape, laces and mouth guards.
Figure skating equipment includes tights, bunga pads, guards and soakers (used to protect blades) and skates.
“We sell a full line of figure skating and hockey equipment,” Schurman said. “We have been open since October, and things are going pretty well.”
The Cyrstal Sports Pro Shop also features University of Delaware gift merchandise and is a convenient place for skaters to get their skates sharpened or hockey sticks repaired, Schurman said.
“We sharpen about 10 to 15 pairs of skates a day, and would like to see that average about 20 to 30 pairs a day,” Schurman said. “Figure skaters prefer a sharper edge, while others like theirs less hollow. It's an individual preference.”
A retired professional hockey player, Schurman got the chance to play on the line with his boyhood idol, Gordy Howe, during the 1979-80 season with the Hartford Whalers.
“I've been around the ice rink since I was a kid,” Schurman said. “Being on the same team with Gordy Howe was like a dream come true for me.”
A coach for the Junior A team of the Philadelphia Little Flyers, Schurman has filled many coaching positions, including being director for coaches for the San Diego Gulls amateur hockey program, as well as serving as interim coach of the San Diego Gulls of the West Coast Hockey League.
Coming to Delaware was a great way for Schurman and his wife, Suzy Semanick, a member of the U.S. Olympic Figure Skating team in the 1988 Olympics who trained at the University of Delaware's Ice Skating Science Development Center, to be closer to their families, Schurman said.
“I really like this area,” Schurman said. “With the training center here at UD and the high level of skaters who train here, this is a great location and it's convenient for the skaters, too.”
Article by Jerry Rhodes
Photo by Ambre Alexander