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Niagara Hockey releases 2018-19 schedule

hockey bench


NIAGARA UNIV. -- Niagara University hockey head coach Jason Lammers announced the team's schedule for the 2018-19 campaign.

The 34-game regular season schedule will be preceded by four Purple & White scrimmages in September and an exhibition game against York University on October 6. Niagara then hosts AIC in the season-opening series the following weekend, with both games starting at 7 p.m. The Purple Eagles will also face off against Holy Cross, Canisius, Colgate, RIT, Mercyhurst, Sacred Heart and Bentley at Dwyer Arena over the course of the season.

"What I love about this season's schedule is that we will be tested early with 11 of the first 16 games on the road," said head coach Jason Lammers. "The travel will give us the opportunity to play in hostile environments and help us bond as people, players and teammates. These experiences will create a foundation to enhance our performance throughout the Atlantic Hockey schedule."

Niagara's regular season begins in Niagara County on Friday, Oct. 12 with a 7 p.m. puck drop against the AIC Yellow Jackets. The same two teams will play at Dwyer Arena again the next evening, also at 7 p.m. 

Following their home openers, the Purple Eagles will hit the road for three series. The trip will start with a two-game set in University Park, Penn. against the Penn State Nittany Lions on Oct. 19 and 20. Niagara will then take on Atlantic Hockey opponents Air Force (Oct. 25 and 26) and Robert Morris (Nov. 2 and 3) before returning home to host Holy Cross on Nov. 9 and 10 at 7 p.m.

The Battle of the Bridge will receive its newest installment with a home-and-home series against the Canisius Golden Griffins. Niagara will host the crosstown rivals on Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. before the setting flips to HarborCenter on Nov. 17 for 4:35 p.m. game start.

A trip to West Point, NY on Nov. 23 and 24 will pit the Purple Eagles against the Army Black Knights in an AHA set. The following weekend, Niagara will head out to Kalamazoo, Mich. to battle the Western Michigan Broncos on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

Colgate, the only non-AHA opponent to visit Dwyer Arena in 2018-19, will come to Niagara University for a pair of meetings on Dec. 7 and 8. Both games will get underway at 7 p.m.

The final contest before the winter intermission will be on the road against the RIT Tigers on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. The Tigers will bookend the break by being Niagara's first opponent in the new year during a home-and-home set on Jan. 4 and 5, 2019. The Purple Eagles will host the first of those contests before the Gene Polisseni Center welcomes Niagara back for the second time in less than a month.

On Jan. 11 and 12, the Purple Eagles will travel to play Holy Cross on the road, then return home to take on the Mercyhurst Lakers with two 7 p.m. puck drops on Jan. 18 and 19.
A second series against AIC – this time in Springfield, Mass. – take place on Feb. 1 and 2. The series against the Yellow Jackets will be the final two-game road trip for the Purple Eagles in the regular season.

Two-game home sets with Sacred Heart (Feb. 8 and 9) and Bentley (Feb. 15 and 16) will lead into the final week of contests. Niagara will be pitted against Canisius in another home-and-home series (HarborCenter Feb. 22 and Dwyer Arena Feb. 23) before RIT stops by to close out the regular season on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m.

The Purple Eagles final bye weekend will take place the week prior to the First Round of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament, which will take place from March 8-10. The Quarterfinals will be held the following week, from March 15-17. Both of the first two rounds will be best-of-three series. The single-elimination AHA Semifinals (March 22) and Championship (March 23) will be held at Blue Cross Arena in Rochester, NY.

2018-19 will be the second season under Jason Lammers, who guided the team to its first national ranking in four seasons during the 2017-18 campaign. He will be joined once again by assistant coaches Andy Boschetto and Matt Nicholson. 18 players will be returning to the squad, including nine of the team's top 10 scorers from last season. Second- and fourth-leading scorers Noah Delmas (4 G, 26 A) and Eric Cooley (6 G, 14 A), who spent time at the Toronto Maple Leafs development camp in June, will be among the returners.

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