The Lakers men's ice hockey team currently competes in Division I Atlantic Hockey. Prior to 1991, the Lakers were known as The Boys on the Bus because they had to shuttle by bus to local civic ice rinks for events. Their determination and competitiveness encouraged the school to build the new center. The arena was the site of the 1995 NCAA Men's Division II Ice Hockey Championship.
Lakers women's ice hockey has been played at the center since the team formed in 1999. The women, who play in the College Hockey America league, reached the 2007 NCAA Frozen Four as #2 seed. Their overtime loss to Duluth in quarterfinal play at the Ice Center on 9 March 2007 left the Lakers with a 32-2-3 season record.
The Ice Center hosts local youth and high school hockey programs, as well as recreational skating for Mercyhurst students.