Located just north of downtown Buffalo, Canisius College is a small, private Catholic college of approximately 3,900 students. The Canisius Golden Griffins compete in the NCAA, Division I, but struggled to find an appropriate home on campus. Without a home on campus, for many years, the Griffs played at Division III Buffalo State; a slightly embarrassing ordeal for the school. Relief for the Griffins came in 2014 with the opening of HarborCenter. Part of the redevelopment of downtown Buffalo, HarborCenter is directly across the road from the home of the Buffalo Sabres, KeyBank Center.
A trip to Henrietta to see the RIT Tigers is an excellent experience that college hockey fans should consider undertaking. Although probably not considered a bucket list venue, even among college hockey die-hards, the Gene Polisseni Center more than meets the expectations of the hockey fan and is easily competitive with other college hockey venues.
Only in its fifth season of use, Pegula Ice Arena is already mentioned as one of the marquee collegiate hockey venues in the nation. Penn State hockey has likewise enjoyed a meteoric rise to be considered one of the premier programs in the nation. When you step into Pegula Ice Arena for a Nittany Lion game, be ready for one of the best gameday experiences in the nation.
The Bentley Arena, which cost $45 million to build, is part of the university’s comprehensive 10-year capital plan to modernize and expand the campus. Designed to be a “living lab”, the arena provides hands on experience for students across many majors, with the gameday presentation run almost entirely by Bentley students.
Yale University boasts the oldest collegiate hockey team in the United States. The program traces its roots all the way back to 1893. Yale played the first intercollegiate hockey game in 1896, against Johns Hopkins, which ended in a 2-2 tie. Competing today in the Ivy League and ECAC, the Bulldogs have qualified for eight NCCA tournaments, a pair of Frozen Fours, and has won a national title in 2013.
Held annually on the first two Mondays in February, the Beanpot Hockey Tournament is the oldest and most prestigious college hockey tournament in the country. Pitting the four Division One hockey teams in Boston (Northeastern, Harvard, Boston College and Boston University) against each other, the tournament consists of back to back doubleheaders on the aforementioned Mondays. The tournament dates back to 1952, having been contested at three sites: the Boston Arena, the Boston Garden, and now the TD Garden.