CANTON — St. Lawrence University officially announced Monday that Appleton Arena will not be ready for home hockey games this season until Nov. 29.
The first game in the remodeled facility will be a women’s game between the Saints and Robert Morris, which will begin at 4 p.m. The men’s team faces Maine the same evening at 7:30 p.m.
All home games scheduled before Nov. 29, with the exception of a men’s game with Clarkson on Nov. 1, will take place at SUNY Canton’s hockey arena, which holds 907 fans. The game with Clarkson, which is nonconference, has been moved to Cheel Arena.
SLU had only one crowd last year that drew less that SUNY Canton’s capacity. The Saints game with Harvard on Feb. 15 was played before 841. SLU averaged 1,207 fans at home games last season.
“Significant progress on the Appleton Arena project continues, but unforeseen construction delays have caused the renovation to fall behind an already tight schedule,” Saints athletic director Bob Durocher said in a statement released by the school. “Because of this, and because we want to ensure an optimum and safe game-day experience for our players, staff, and north country fans, we have decided to change the location of several home games to the rink at SUNY Canton.”
Four men’s games, including the first two ECAC Hockey home games, will take place at SUNY Canton.
The Saints’ home opener is a nonconference tilt against Providence on Oct. 18 and the Saints face Vermont on Oct. 19.
The conference home opener is against Colgate on Nov. 15, and Cornell faces the Saints at SUNY Canton the next night.
SLU’s women will have their home opener at SUNY Canton on Oct. 19 against Holy Cross and will face the Crusaders on the 20th. The Korean national team will meet SLU at SUNY Canton on Oct. 24.
The women’s team also will open the ECAC Hockey home portion of their schedule at SUNY Canton, facing Cornell on Nov. 8 and Colgate on Nov. 19. A nonconference game on Nov. 15 with Syracuse, which is coached by former SLU coach Paul Flanagan, who also played at SUNY Canton and SLU, will be the final game the women’s team plays at the facility.
The home game SLU lost with Clarkson this year will be made up next year as Clarkson will play an extra nonconference game in Appleton Arena.
“Team schedules (both men’s and women’s) and game locations as well as ticket information have been updated online and the coaches have been involved with developing an alternative plan for the start of the season,” Durocher added in the release. “Their support has allowed us to maximize our ability to complete the project as soon as possible. We are extremely happy about the ongoing partnership with SUNY Canton and will continue to use their facility through the early part of the season.”
The updated version of Appleton Arena will officially be dedicated Feb. 7-8.