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History of Ice Hockey in Central Oregon

By The Decades

Note to reader: We hope you enjoy this short history. It's a work in progress. We welcome contributions and corrections. Email us

The early (very early) years

Thank you to the Deschutes County Historical Society for providing these 2 images below. One is in Bend and the other is outside of Bend.  Can you guess when and where these were captured?  Click on the image to launch a larger version. Let us know your best guess!


  • 1926 - An area  at Vandevert Ranch near the Little Deschutes where there were dances in the summer. "In November 1926, the family flooded the area and made a skating rink for the Bend hockey team and for the public in general. They charge admission to defray the cost of construction and lit bonfires at night for light.  The ranch was suddenly more accessible to Bend because the Dalles-California Highway had just opened that year."  Source: Vandevert, The Hundred Year History of a Central Oregon Ranch by Ted Haynes and Grace Vandevert McNellis.


  • 1969 -  Canadian Roland “Wally” Wallace and his family move to Bend. Wally grew up in Alberta, Canada playing ice hockey. Why do we care? Read on and you'll understand why.     


  • Wally Wallace and Vince Genna (Bend Park & Recreation District's first Director) pointed fire hoses (with help we assume) in the winter for the purposes flooding the old Juniper Park concrete slab (the current pool complex) creating a sheet of ice.  Troy Field was also a known spot (downtown). Both locations were community skating spots.  
  • 1971 – The Inn of the 7th Mountain (known now as 7th Mountain Resort) resort builds a small, circular outdoor ice rink for their visitors . Wally Wallace establishes a kids hockey at Saturday morning from 8-11:30am. Adult broomball league at the Resort was at Wednesday nights.
  • 16 miles south of Bend in the planned resort community of Sunriver an small outdoor ice rink is built for visitors. 


  • Wally establishes additional programs at the Sunriver Village Rink.


  • Ice hockey programs continue at Sunriver and the Inn of the 7th Mountain
  • Wally Wallace's son (Scott Wallace) who had left Bend for his career moves back to Bend in 1997-98 and steps into his father's shoes as an ambassador for ice hockey in the region. He is instrumental in the eventual success of the bond measure to construct the Simpson Pavilion.   


  • Bend Polar Bears youth hockey club established at the Inn of the 7th. 
  • 2006: After 35 years of coaching generations of central Oregon ice and roller hockey players Wally retires. 
  • 2007-08: A 2-sheet ice rink came amazingly close to being constructed.  The Location: the Deschutes Brewery shipping/receiving area below the bluff. Building materials were purchased and delivered to the site. Funding for the build collapsed. The building materials were sold at a discount to Gary Fish of Deschutes Brewery who used them to build the current shipping/receiving area that is still there to this day.  
  • 2008-09: Broomball ends. Bend Steelheads adult rec team established for tourney’s and friendlies. 
  • 2009-10: Committee formed (becoming Bend Ice) for the purpose of advocating for ice sports in the region. Discussions with with Bend Park & Rec to create a more formal seasonal rink. Initial location considered was Troy Field. 


  • 2012: Bond Measure 986 in the amount of 29 million put to voters. It includes a white water park & safe passage on the river, trail access to complete parts of the Deschutes River Trail (DRT), build out/buy land for community, and of course the Simpson Pavilion multi-sports complex featuring a NHL size sheet of ice. The Bond measure narrowly passes. 
  • 2013:  Wally passes away. The Pavilion scoreboard will bear his name. 
  • 2014:  Construction starts on the Simpson Pavilion.
  • A group of parents form the Rapids steering committee led by Megan Herman & Scott Wallace as the co-chairs for the 2 years. Applications for Rapids membership with USA Hockey and Oregon State Hockey Association (OSHA) were filed. Rapids are designated as a “B” level team, the standard for most Oregon teams at the time. 
  • 2015:  Late in the year doors finally open at the Pavilion. Bend Park & Rec (BPRD) offers a suite of ice activities for the public learning and enjoyment.  At the time there were only enough players for 8U, 10U, and 12U. It wouldn’t be until 2016, that 14U and 18U teams were formed. 


  • Covid impacts youth sports severely. With one of the only outdoor rinks in the State, the Rapids are able to practice while teams relying on indoor rinks are shutdown for quite some time from 2019-2021. 
  • 2022: Rapids field their first Tier 2 level team; the 16UAA team.  They qualify for play at Nationals this year.  A new look for the Rapids uniforms is unveiled. 

Roland "Wally" Wallace , 1930 - 2013

Roland "Wally" Wallace , 1930 - 2013
Pioneer of Ice Hockey in Bend

Roland "Wally" Wallace was born in Calgary, Alberta and grew up during the great depression in the small, southern Alberta ranching community of Brooks. This is where he began his life-long passion and affiliation with Canada's national pastime, ice hockey.

On the ice Wally had blazing speed, was an outstanding goal scorer, and traveled extensively throughout western Canada and Alaska chasing his NHL dream and playing the game he loved.
In the mid-1960's, Wally and his wife Judy immigrated to the U.S. and lived in Medford, Oregon where he worked in equipment sales and called on lumber mills throughout central and eastern Oregon.

To be closer to his clients, Wally, Judy and their two sons (Scott & Lindsay) moved to Bend in 1969. Wally passed along his love for ice hockey and took it upon himself, to promote and teach skating and hockey to generations of central Oregonians. This started in 1970 at the old Juniper Park concrete slab when Wally and Vince Genna, Bend Park & Recreation District's first Director, would turn on the fire hoses and flood the slab where the community gathered to skate each winter.

When a resort rink was built at the Inn of the 7th Mountain in 1971, Wally established kids hockey and adult broomball programs that he lead at the 7th Mountain rink, and later at the Sunriver Village rink. For 35 years Wally coached generations of central Oregon ice and roller hockey players until health issues required him to hang up his skates. Wally passed away in 2013, however, the skating and hockey programs he pioneered in Bend continue to this day.

Local hockey players compete each year for the "Wally Wallace Cup" which recognizes and celebrates his life-long contributions to the ice sports culture of central Oregon.

The Bend Park & Recreation Foundation's Simpson Pavilion and Program Fund helps honor the life and work of Wally Wallace, and his dream of ice-based recreation for our community.