Niagara University Purple Eagles
NIAGARA UNIV., N.Y. – Niagara University hockey head coach Jason Lammers announced the team’s schedule for the 2019-20 campaign.
The 34-game regular season schedule will be preceded by an exhibition game against Ryerson University at Dwyer Arena on Oct. 5. Niagara then takes a weekend off before opening things up at Minnesota on Oct. 18-19.
The home portion of the team’s slate will begin on Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. with a tilt against Atlantic Hockey opponent Sacred Heart. The Pioneers and Purple Eagles will go at it again the following day at 4 p.m. The final game of the set will be the team’s first Open Skate date of the season, as fans are encouraged to lace up at game’s end and hit the ice with the Purple Eagles. As always, the event is free for anyone with a ticket to that day’s game.
Another non-conference road trip will open the month of November, as Niagara will head to Denver for a pair of games on Nov. 1-2. The Pioneers ended the 2018-19 regular season as the No. 8 team in the country before winning the NCHC tournament and making a run to the Frozen Four.
The following weekend will see the Purple Eagles take on RIT in a home-and-home matchup, with the Tigers hosting on Nov. 8 before the series shifts back to Niagara University on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. It will be the first meeting between the two sides since the Purple Eagles bounced the Tigers in the AHA semifinals in March.
The lone installment of the Battle of the Bridge will take place on Nov. 15-16 at HarborCenter. Last season saw the Purple Eagles go unbeaten against Canisius during the regular season before eliminating the Griffs in the first round of the Atlantic Hockey playoffs.
Another home-and-home will follow, this time with Mercyhurst on Nov. 22-23. The series will open in Erie, Pennsylvania before both squads come to Dwyer Arena the following night for a 7 p.m. puck drop.
Air Force will pay its first visit to Niagara in nearly two years with a pair of Thanksgiving weekend games on November 29-30. Both contests are set to begin at 7 p.m.
The Purple Eagles will then take a weekend off before traveling to Springfield, Massachusetts for a showdown with defending league champion AIC. After the series with the Yellow Jackets, the team will begin its winter intermission.
To ring in the new year, Niagara will head to Penn State for the second straight year. Another two-game showdown with the Nittany Lions on Jan. 3-4 will close out the non-conference portion of the schedule.
Holy Cross will pay a visit to Western New York on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m. and Jan. 11 at 4 p.m. The Purple Eagles took three out of four points from the Crusaders during the teams’ series at Dwyer last season.
A return to trip to Air Force will follow for the Purple Eagles on Jan. 17-18. The teams will square off in Colorado Springs for the first time since Niagara ousted the Falcons in the AHA quarterfinals last season.
Another service academy matchup will take place on Jan. 24-25 when the Army Black Knights pay a visit to Niagara. The Friday outing will start at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s game will get underway at 4 p.m. Following the finale on Saturday, the second Open Skate of the season will take place.
Niagara will head east to Waltham, Massachusetts for the first time in six seasons when they face Bentley on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1. The team’s last road game against the Falcons was a 3-2 overtime victory on Nov. 8, 2014.
Friday, Feb. 7 will see Mercyhurst and Niagara open another series on Monteagle Ridge at 7 p.m. Things will shift south the next night, as the Lakers will play host for the second game of the weekend.
A visit to Sacred Heart awaits the Purple Eagles on Feb. 15-16, as they’ll play a pair of afternoon games in Fairfield, Connecticut on their last road trip of the regular season.
RIT and Niagara will face off in another home-and-home on Feb. 21-22. The first game of the weekend will be a home game for the Purple Eagles and will get underway at 7 p.m. before the scene shifts on Saturday.
Two home clashes with longtime rival Robert Morris will wrap up the regular season on Feb. 28-29. Both contests will start at 7 p.m.
The first round of the Atlantic Hockey Tournament will take place from March 6-8. The quarterfinals will be held the following week, from March 13-15. Both of the first two rounds will be best-of-three series and held by the highest respective seeds. The single-elimination AHA semifinals (March 20) and championship (March 21) will be held at HarborCenter for the second consecutive season.
Lammers will once again host open press conferences following each Niagara home game. Fans of all ages are encouraged to join the team in Dwyer 202 to ask the coach and selected players any questions they may have.