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Canisius College and Harborcenter reach five year lease extension

CANISIUS COLLEGE ATHLETICS

Canisus vs Niagara crowd shot 2-23-18
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Canisius College and Harborcenter today announced a five-year lease extension that will keep Golden Griffins Division I college hockey games in downtown Buffalo through the year 2023.

"The presence of Canisius College has been very important to fulfilling the mission of Harborcenter," said Michael Gilbert, the complex's general manager. "When we opened this facility in 2014, we stated that our goal is to grow the game of hockey on every level. Canisius' top-level college hockey greatly complements the tremendous strides we've seen with the Harborcenter Cup series, Jr. Sabres, Beauts, and the numerous events we host each season."

"Canisius College and our hockey program are proud to continue this unique partnership with Pegula Sports and Entertainment and Harborcenter," said Canisius Director of Athletics Bill Maher. "Harborcenter and its world-class facilities have been a critical element in elevating our hockey program to a championship level. As 'Buffalo's College Hockey Team', we are thrilled that this partnership will allow us to remain a part of the energy around Canalside and the continued growth of this great city."

The Golden Griffins hosted the first hockey game at Harborcenter on October 31, 2014, when 2,000 blue and gold fans packed the brand-new facility on its opening night and played nationally-ranked Ohio State to a 3-3 tie. Canisius fans have steadily flowed into Harborcenter ever since, as attendance at Golden Griffins hockey games has risen by nearly 50 percent to almost 1,100 fans attending each home game. Since moving to downtown Buffalo in the 2014-15 season, the Griffs have compiled a record of 70-62-21 and won the Atlantic Hockey regular-season championship in 2017.

"Simply put, Harborcenter has become our home," noted Canisius Head Coach Trevor Large. "Our players and staff truly enjoy being able to practice and play at a world-class facility. We are excited to extend our relationship with Harborcenter and we look forward to being a part of the continued resurgence of downtown Buffalo."

"The Canisius College hockey program has really grown over the last five years, and its best days are ahead," added Nik Fattey, Harborcenter's vice president and director of hockey. "Canisius has capitalized on player facilities and fan amenities that are on par with any venue in the NCAA, and we are proud to continue this partnership for another five years."

Canisius begins its 34-game Atlantic Hockey schedule on Friday, Oct. 12. The home opener is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 19 against nationally-ranked Air Force. The Griffs also host nationally-ranked Clarkson (Nov. 10) and North Dakota (Jan. 4 and 5) in non-conference games at Harborcenter this season.