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Hockey machine coming to …?

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New owners @ Play It Again

Here's the follow-up to my earlier hockey tease . I said it was not a team.

Growth is the goal as a Rochester sports shop makes room for a hockey goal.

Play It Again Sports at 102 Elton Hills Drive N.W. is growing — look for a hole in the east wall of the store — by 1,188 square feet.

While that expands the store’s current sales floor of 3,800 square feet, it also makes room for a new hockey training device called Rapidshot.

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"It basically is a batting cage for hockey players," said owner Ron von Blethorst.

That means players face off against a machine that fires a puck at them. Right before the puck reaches the player, a target appears on the net. The computer tracks the speed of the shot, the reaction time and the accuracy.

Through a card issued to each player, the stats are compared to previous rounds and to other players.

"You can go online to compare yourself to players in Rochester, the U.S. or the world," he said.

Besides using it for training, Von Blethorst says customers will be able to use Rapidshot to try out sticks before buying them.

The faux hockey set-up should be installed by the end of October and up and running by the second week of November.

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Hockey machine coming to …?

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