BUFFALO, New York- The Atlantic Hockey Leauge announced today, in conjunction with Pegula Sports and Entertainment, that Harborcenter in Buffalo, NY has been selected as the host for the 2019 Atlantic Hockey Championships. The move keeps the Atlantic Hockey Tournament championship round in Western New York after having been at Rochester's Blue Cross Arena for the last 12 years.
"Moving our league championship to the Harborcenter in Buffalo is obviously very exciting. Buffalo is a sports city that loves and supports hockey and the venue at the Harborcenter is the perfect size to create an excellent student/athlete experience", said Sacred Heart Men's Ice Hockey Coach CJ Marottolo.
"We are grateful to the City of Rochester for being such gracious hosts over the last 12 years," said Commissioner Robert DeGregorio. "We want to thank the folks at the Blue Cross Arena for all they did to put on our championships each year, and we are excited to pursue this new opportunity in Buffalo."
Moving to Buffalo presents an opportunity for the league to take advantage of yet another market familiar with the Atlantic Hockey product, with Canisius in Buffalo and Niagara nearby, and a community that is passionate about hockey.
"We are thrilled to partner with Pegula Sports and Entertainment to bring the Atlantic Hockey Championship to Buffalo," stated DeGregorio. "The people of Buffalo love the sport of hockey and support it wholeheartedly. We know Nik and his staff at Harborcenter well and we believe that moving to Buffalo and Harborcenter will enhance the experience for student-athletes, coaches, and fans."
"Our facility is ideally suited to host an event like the Atlantic Hockey Championships," said Nik Fattey, Harborcenter's vice president and director of hockey. "We have a very convenient location for players and fans of the competing schools, and are able offer amenities that are unsurpassed, maximizing the tournament experience the way we do for all Harborcenter events.
Connected to the Buffalo Sabres' KeyBank Center, Harborcenter features two NHL-sized hockey rinks, including 1,800-seat KeyBank Rink, along with IMPACT training facilities, a 205-room full service Marriott hotel, four restaurants and parking facilities. The complex is home to Atlantic Hockey member Canisius College, as well as the Harborcenter Cup tournament series, Buffalo Jr. Sabres youth hockey program, and the NWHL's Buffalo Beauts. Harborcenter has been the site of the NHL Scouting Combine since 2015 and has been home to the College Hockey America Tournament the past three seasons. Since opening in 2014, Harborcenter has hosted the 2014 IIHF Women's Under-18 World Championships, 2014 IPC World Sledge Hockey Championship, and 2018 World Junior Hockey Championship.
Now, the Atlantic Hockey Championships will be added to the list come March.
The Atlantic Hockey Tournament begins with the first round on March 8-10. Two weeks later, four teams will advance to Harborcenter for the Championships, which will take place on March 22ndand 23rd, 2019. Ticket information will be made available at a later date.
Atlantic Hockey is an 11-team NCAA Division I men's hockey conference founded in 2003. Its geographical footprint spans from Massachusetts (American International, Bentley, and Holy Cross) to Colorado (Air Force), with member institutions also in Connecticut (Sacred Heart), New York (Army West Point, Canisius, Niagara, and RIT), and Pennsylvania (Mercyhurst and Robert Morris). Atlantic Hockey boasts All-Americans on the ice and in the classroom, Hockey Humanitarians and Derek Hines Unsung Hero Award winners.