Call it a hat trick: A vibrant tech community, an entrepreneurial university and an arena that opened its doors to some pretty cool technology. They have all fallen neatly into place for HockeyTech, which demonstrated its hockey analytics system at a news conference Thursday in the Columbia Ice Field Athletic Centre at the University of Waterloo. “Communitech . . . has done a fantastic job of helping build a (tech) ecosystem,’’ said Stu Siegel, HockeyTech’s CEO. “When we were looking at our growth objectives, we saw a great opportunity to be here in Waterloo . . .We’ve had nothing but great co-operation from the university.” Ian Mosher, head of player testing for HockeyTech, keeps an eye on a laptop as player analytics come in during a demonstration. (Photo: Christian Aagaard for Communitech) The company announced this week that its Guelph operation will move to Columbia Street, Waterloo, this June. That puts it five minutes away from the athletic centre where, two months ago, HockeyTech wired up its first player-tracking system in the ice rink. Players — members of the varsity Warriors men’s and women’s hockey clubs — wear radio-frequency identifier (RFID) tags a little smaller than a matchbook when they’re dressed for a game or practice. Twenty-four “locators” installed overhead follow their movements and churn out a wide range of measurements, including time on ice, speed and goals scored. A chip in the puck adds puck speed to the current data output. HockeyTech expects to soon add puck possession, pass detection and shots on net – features to be tried and improved at the arena. “It really is like a living lab,’’ said Roly Webster, the university’s Director of Athletics and Recreation. “I think most Canadians are really excited to see what this does to hockey.” HockeyTech’s system collects about two million data points over the course of a 60-minute game. It provides coaches and scouts with measurements of a player’s performance that are far more fine-grained than conventional statistics about goals scored and assists earned. Collected over a period of days or weeks, it can create a baseline performance level. From that, clubs could, for example, stage a return for an injured player, or work on strengthening a weak skill. “This will never replace coaches,” said Cary Moretti, HockeyTech’s Chief Technology Officer. “This is a tool for coaches to use.” Siegel owned part of the NHL’s Florida Panthers between 2008-2012. The quantity-quality gap between the information produced by the NHL and the leagues below it “didn’t sit right with me,” Seigel said. “I started (HockeyTech) to arm the hockey world with advanced statistics,” Siegel said. HockeyTech’s arrival in Waterloo should be just the beginning of a mutually beneficial association, Phil Curry said in interview. An economics professor at the University of Waterloo, Curry and lawyers Ian Cooper and IJay Palansky make up the Department of Hockey Analytics that authors a weekly column for the Toronto Star. “We’ve had some discussions along those lines of where things could go in terms of their integration with the university,’’ he said. “We just can’t stop thinking of ideas. I think quite a lot of people will, over the years, have quite a lot of involvement with HockeyTech.” The company employs about 30 people in Canada and another 25 in Boston. Photo: Denis McCarroll of customer support and training at HockeyTech holds a puck and radio-frequency identifier tag that help gather information for player analytics.