Somerville’s New “Founders Ice Rink” Dedicated


By William Tauro

This past Saturday Oct. 26th the City of Somerville officially dedicated it’s new ice rick as the Founders Rink at a special event.

The new ice rink was opened in 2012, two years after the City took control of the Veterans Memorial Rink.

The City of Somerville also honored five veterans – George Hughes (Army), John Doncaster (Army), Raymond Deeran (Navy), James Papaluca (Marine) and Joseph Guidi (Navy) – who founded the Somerville Youth Hockey Association in the 1960’s. Now that it’s officially dedicated, the five men’s names now appear on a plaque at the new ice rink at 570 Somerville Ave., next to the Veterans Memorial Rink.

Boston stars logo

The ice rink will also be home to Igor and Somerville’s own, Boston Stars Elite & Select Hockey Teams.

The Boston Stars Hockey organization offers team participation at the Elite and Select levels. Our program provides players the opportunity to develop the skills necessary to play at the highest level of hockey competition.

Young athletes must be challenged to improve. Through the development framework of Igor Hockey, our program places a strong emphasis on skill progression in order to develop the speed, agility, and mental toughness that are essential for every young hockey player’s success.

More importantly, we teach our players the values of hard work, good sportsmanship, and fair play.

Although our teams consistently win while competing against some of the top hockey talent in New England, it is our overall player development throughout a season of this unique training that is a source of pride, and a true testimony of the philosophy of Coach Igor Gratchev.

It is no surprise that Junior, High School and College Hockey Coaches from around the country have consistently identified players who have developed the skills as students of Igor Hockey.

Our training program is intense and focused on your child’s development.

Our philosophy and approach are simple:
“We Do Not Recruit Stars, We Create Them!”


For more on the history of youth hockey in Somerville:


Igor with the kids and coaches.

11 thoughts on “Somerville’s New “Founders Ice Rink” Dedicated”

  1. Words cannot describe how disappointed I am after reading this article, and I believe Rosalie (my grandmother) said it best when she said she feels like the whole event was ruined by this advertisement for Boston Stars Hockey. These five men did more the children and city Somerville than Igor ever has or will, and they did it for free. As someone who benefitted so much from the actions of these five men I feel that this article isn’t just a gross injustice to them but to me and everyone who had the opportunity to play for Somerville youth hockey. My whole family has been involved in Somerville youth Hockey from the start, my father, uncle , cousin and I all played with the word Somerville written across our chest, that’s who we played for, that’s what these five men created this organization for but unfortunately that is not who you write for. To continue to make excuses for this disgusting display of journalistic negligence is a slap in our face, the president of Somerville youth hockey was there, the honorees were there, their families were there but apparently you weren’t. Stop with excuses and take ownership of your mistake, if you want to apologize then do it in next week’s paper but don’t apologize to me apologize to the five men that we were there to honor because they deserve a hell of a lot better than this. Hopefully you do the right thing and take the money Igor and the Boston stars gave you to write this advertisement and put it into Somerville youth hockey where the coaches coach for free, not because they love game but because they love the city just as much if not more.
    Lastly I want to mention this just so you know how disgusted I am in this article and just to show you just how much you missed the mark.
    My grandfather coached for Somerville youth hockey and my grandmother is an original SHIMA member. My father has played for Somerville youth hockey and has coached for Somerville youth hockey for over 20 years. My uncles played in and coached for Somerville youth hockey. My cousin has played and now coaches for Somerville youth hockey. Finally, I myself have played and now coach for Somerville youth hockey. We don’t do it for money, we don’t do it for news articles, we do it as a thank you to a program that has provided us with so many opportunities and most importantly so many memories. We do it to say thank you to those original five.

    1. Dear Alex,

      Money , is that what this is all about money? Lets get the record straight, we have never taken one dime from Igor nor the Boston Stars, Somerville Pop Warner, somerville little league etc, etc. for advertisement. They don’t pay us for advertising. We do it for all the leagues as a free public service to the community. Many of the leagues of all different types of sports within the city ask us to advertise for them for free to promote awareness for the kids and we do, over and over, again it’s all for the kids.

      If Somerville Youth Hockey Wants to promote awareness which is a nice to do, we would be more then happy to take that on for the league. So please then just let us know and as always we hoof the bill and we just do it for the kids! And as for you a Somerville Youth Hockey Coach, we applaud you for your contribution to the leaque. Your time is valuable we’re sure, but you still do it for the kids. I do what I do for the kids on my own time and at my own expense. So please stop putting words in my mouth that we get paid for it because that that is absolutely false and wrong to even accuse us of that! Just ask the Somerville Pop Warner Leaque because for the past year I have been one of their spokesman promoting the team, selling their T-shirts, placing ads and personally delivering Villen shirts everywhere across the commonwealth for the leaque on my own personal time and always at my own expense delivering and I’m working with them every day to make it better for them etc. etc. etc. I do it not because i have to but because I want to do it and I love to do it it’s for the kids
      Don’t you think promoting the league for the kids is a good thing? But still we have never received a request or press release from you, a coach nor one from the Somerville Youth Hockey has never sent us anything at all to help promote leaque for the kids as well. So does that make you a bad guy? Of course not it doesn’t. We do what we do for youth teams and we try to do it the best we can with what we have to work! That’s what we did here, we thought that we were doing the right thing by interviewing the correct person , a princible of the rink, that’s what we had to work with. We interviewed him, we printed it for the kids and now you put us out to be the bad guy. Well it doesn’t make us bad because at the time we thought that we were doing the right thing and the good intention and good will for the kids was certainly there! Do we think that we were misinformed yes! Was it intentional? Of course not!

      Instead of dwelling on this over and over, we just hope that you understand and realize that we thought that we were doing the right thing on our own time and on out own dime, just like you do for the kids when you coach.

      Please contact me at and and yes we would love to hear from you and yes we want to work together with you to promote this league for the kids!

      Best regards,

      Billy Tauro, Publisher The Somerville News Weekly

  2. Great job on the article about the two hour dedication for the Founders Ice Hockey Rink, I’m sorry I miss spoke. It wasn’t an article, it was a paid for advertisement about the Somerville Stars, oh whoops again, the Boston Stars. What was the price for your journalistic integrity?

    1. We apologize if we unknowingly offended anyone with this article in question regarding the ice rink dedication of the Founders Rink.

      It was not our intention to disrespect anyone at all especially the honorees, the veteran who fought for this wonderful country and for our freedom and independence.

      Unfortunately when we contacted the rink for an interview request,we were directed to Max Gretchen who we thought was the authorized person to interview and seemed appropriate at that time.

      Also when we visited the ice rink in person and noticed all the Boston Stars decor within the rink’s interior mounted on the rinks walls that was there prior to our arrival also led us to believe that Max Gretchen was the right person to talk to and so the interview went on.

      But at that time we were still unaware that Max was allegedly unauthorized to interview with us especially after reading about him, his father Igor and the Ice rink on the Boston Stars web site. Still all seemed legitimate enough to warrant the interview with him at the time.

      Once again, we apologize that an error was made on our behalf that may have offended anyone, with this story at the ice rink dedication in honor of our war heroes.

      It was never our intention to disrespect anyone at all especially the veterans who were being honored that day.

      The Somerville News Weekly

  3. I do think the gripe is with the reporting. The title of the article implies that it is about the rink being dedicated to the five founders of Somerville Youth Hockey, while the article itself is primarily about an entirely different endeavor. You are free to write about anything you wish – Somerville Youth Hockey, Boston Stars, mutant bunnies, 1960s starlet Joey Heatherton – but one expects the headline to correspond to the content. If you had wished to write about those to whom the rink is dedicated, I’m sure “one of the Principe (sic) personal (sic) that run and control the rink” could have told you about them or referred you to someone who can.

    (Fair Disclosure: I am related to one of the honorees.)

  4. Five veterans and ambassadors to the sport of hockey start a program that is currently a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and positive influence in the community and this is what you come up with? This article is nothing more than an advertisement for Igor’s for-profit hockey program that he is using solely to MAKE MONEY!

    Whoever wrote this should be ashamed of themselves, and Somerville News – you should be ashamed of posting it. As a lifelong Somerville resident, I am disgusted.

    1. Dear Kyle,

      Again, respectively, your grip is with the mayor and the city and the rink officials and not with me or The Somerville News Weekly.

      I hope that this situation is cleared up internally between you, the city and the people of Somerville and that you all work out your difference because this beautiful rink is for the kids and they should be the ones enjoying it.

      Best regards,

      Bill Tauro

  5. Since when did Somerville Youth Hockey, become the Boston Stars? Who Is this Igor that this article was written about? It should have been written about Somerville Youth Hockey that is still going strong and the coaches that give their time for the youth of this great city.That’s what the dedication was all about.The five veterans that started the Somerville Youth Hockey Program are who we should be congratulating and not the Boston Stars.
    Rosalie MacDonald

    1. I totally agree with your gripe but after interviewing Boston Stars representative Max Gretchen and when he was asked all the particulars about the Boston Stars if the Stars will be using the facility for practices, games and as a home of the stars, the reply was yes!

      We here at the News only report the news, we don’t create it!.

      But again, one would agree with the same first impression as I got that if they enter the rink and see and hear the same what I saw and heard in the interview that it would appear to look like it was the home of the Boston Stars.

      Its is very unfortunate that the rink is overshadowed with this commercial brand that it displays, but it is what it is and more important this complaining about it should of taken place when the rink was in the planning stages, then when it was agreed to be build and funded, and then on moving day when the rink was set up and decorated, not now after two years of completion as it is occupied as such by the stars.
      All complaints about it should of been to them back then to the city and not to me the person who only reports what he sees and is told in the interview by one of the Principe personal that run and control the rink.

      I hope that this situation is cleared up internally between you, the city and the people of Somerville and that you all work out your difference because this beautiful rink is for the kids and they should be the ones enjoying it.

      Best regards,

      Bill Tauro

      1. Bill, what I would like to know is why were you interviewing the representative of the Boston Stars when you should have been interviewing the President of Somerville Youth Hockey, or one of the founders (the two living members attended the event). You wrote three paragraphs about the Veteran Founders and six about Boston Stars – an effective advertisement for their program. Was this an article about the dedication of the rink to the founders of youth hockey in the city of Somerville or about the Boston Stars? Are the Boston Stars a part of Somerville Youth Hockey, I was under the impression they were not.

        In my eyes, this article ruined this wonderful event, and completely discredits the tireless work of the five men who founded Somerville Youth Hockey.

        -Rosalie MacDonald

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