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COLLEGE HOCKEY PREVIEWS

by Kevin Snow / Buffalo Sabres

The winds of change are blowing through local college hockey for the 2014-15 season. New arenas have gone up for RIT and Canisius, while a pair of youthful rosters will continue their development at Niagara and Buffalo State.


CANISIUS COLLEGE GOLDEN GRIFFINS
An unfamiliar energy surrounds the Canisius College hockey team entering this season.

On one hand, the Griffs are preparing to open their first season at the newly-constructed HARBORCENTER. Gone are the old black and orange confines of Buffalo State Arena, replacing it is a state-of-the-art facility complete with the Griffs’ own banners, locker room and training equipment. READ MORE...


NIAGARA PURPLE EAGLES
Despite a 2013-14 campaign (15-20-5) that failed to measure up to some of Niagara’s more memorable seasons, Purple Eagles head coach Dave Burkholder still managed to find reasons for optimism for what lies ahead.

“We had graduated a pretty storied senior class with six players that contributed a lot of great leadership. We replaced that senior class with 10 freshmen, including two goalies,” Burkholder said. “We knew that there were going to be some growing pains and there were, but the positive is that we went on a pretty good run late in the season, which I think really bodes well for the future.” READ MORE...


RIT TIGERS
When the RIT Tigers kick-off their 2014-15 season at home against St. Lawrence University on Friday, they’ll do so in unfamiliar surroundings. After playing their home games in the Frank Ritter Memorial Arena for 46 years, the Tigers will now set up shop in the new state-of-the-art Gene Polisseni Center. The arena, which cost $38 million to construct, was named after the long-time friend and employee of RIT trustee Tom Golisano.

Needless to say, RIT head coach Wayne Wilson is excited about the team’s new digs. READ MORE...

BUFFALO STATE BENGALS
Creating a balance between experience and new blood will be the key for a Buffalo State hockey team coming off a season that saw the Bengals claim their first postseason victory in program history.

Those Bengals return six of their top seven point scorers from last season. But as they look forward to taking the next step – a State University of New York Athletic Conference (SUNYAC) Championship – they must do so in the absence of two-year captain Mike Zannella and four-year goaltender Kevin Carr. READ MORE...


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