A Family Affair: Capitols Return Home to Cap Ice Arena - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

A Family Affair: Capitols Return Home to Cap Ice Arena

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After a few years of play at Alliant Energy Center, the Madison Capitols of the USHL are heading back to Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton.  It's a homecoming - because those running the team are also those running the rink.

"It's exciting," said Capitols' Head Coach and General Manager Garrett Suter.  "We're all happy to be back at Cap Ice.  Obviously our dad [Bob Suter, of 1980 Olympic Hockey "Miracle on Ice" fame] started it and Jake's uncle and Brandon's uncle started this rink. [Bob] built it in 1999.  We've been around it since it was built and we played youth hockey here."

Garrett was hired as the Capitols' coach and general manager last year - and he also runs Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena.  His brother Ryan, who plays for the NHL's Minnesota Wild, is an owner and chairman of the Capitols team.  Their cousin, Jake, is an assistant coach and assistant general manager.  Brandon, one of their other cousins, is a defenseman on the squad.  

"[Playing for my family] is different but they push me and they know what's right for me, so it works out," said Brandon Suter.

"It's cool to be out there, be here every day," said Jake Suter.  "Now it's our job to work here where we basically grew up.  It's a cool experience."

Bob Suter suffered a heart attack at the arena in September of 2014. This marks the first time the Capitols will play their games full-time at his Capitol Ice arena he passed away three years ago.

"[Bob would] be sharpening the skates and then running the concession stand and going quickly to [run] the Zamboni - doing all of it at once," said Jake.  "He was quite the character, it was pretty awesome."

"It's tough," said Bob's son, Garrett.  "It's tough every year.  It makes it hard, especially the more we get going around here.   And the more people we have and the better the facility becomes.  The more people we get to help and the easier it becomes to run, the more we wish we would have done it for him earlier.  But, oh well.  We hope he would be proud of the way it is now and the way things are moving forward.

The Madison Capitols will begin the regular season on October 6th when they host Des Moines at Bob Suter's Capitol Ice Arena.

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