Niagara Gazette

Columns

October 2, 2012

CONFER: Get your hockey fix in local colleges

Niagara Gazette — Living along the Canadian border like we do, hockey is an important part of local culture. Countless men, women and children lace up their skates every day across this region, while many more count themselves as rabid fans of the fastest sport in the world. That transcendent love for the game makes it even more popular in Western New York than America’s most-loved sport, football.

It’s only fitting that watching and listening to the NHL dominates our evenings, something that also

offers a great diversion from the long, cold nights, keeping us from going crazy in the winter tedium.

Unfortunately, the escape from life’s stresses afforded by professional hockey doesn’t look to be so

certain this year as the NHL’s owners and players are locked in a labor impasse. There’s a very good

chance that that a significant portion (maybe even all?) of the season might be lost.

No one knows for sure what’s going to happen and fans are already depressed about the possibility of a winter with no hockey.

Don’t be depressed. And, don’t allow the arctic season to be lacking in the sport.

There are plenty of opportunities to take in a high-quality game. Look no further than our local colleges.

Hockey fans have a number of them to choose from on the Niagara Frontier. Within a 40-minute drive

of Lockport we have Division I programs in Niagara University and Canisius and Division III colleges in

Buffalo State and Brockport. There are even more just a little further away within the Buffalo-Rochester

area, including Fredonia, Geneseo, RIT, and Nazareth. All of them put competitive, exciting teams on the ice.

The DI teams play against some of the most-storied and highest-ranked universities in the country. You

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