CANTON — Ongoing construction work at St. Lawrence University’s Appleton Arena has caused another postponement in when the first game will take place in the renovated facility.
SLU now has rescheduled its first event in Appleton for 3 p.m. Jan. 18 when the Saints women’s hockey team hosts the rival Clarkson Golden Knights. The building was supposed to be ready in a few weeks, for SLU’s women’s game against Robert Morris at 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 but according to a release from the school, the conditions inside the building are not ready for ice to be made yet.
“It’s no big deal, it’s really not,” Saints men’s coach Brent Brekke said. “Our guys are just going through the daily process and understand when it’s open, it’s open. The result we’re going to get when it’s all said and done is it’s going to be beautiful. We haven’t really tried to say this is a hard timeline when we’re going to be in there, when it’s ready, it’s ready. For us it’s not a really big deal.”
The change to Jan. 18 means the men’s team will play six additional games at SUNY Canton’s 907-seat arena than were originally planned and will not have a home game in Appleton Arena until they face Brown on Jan. 31.
SLU, which averaged 1,207 fans at Appleton last season, is moving a pair of games against Maine on Nov. 29-30 to SUNY Canton, as well as ECAC Hockey home games against Union and Rensselaer (Jan. 3-4) and Quinnipiac and Princeton (Jan. 10-11).
“I have no doubt that it’s going to be amazing,” Saints forward Alex Gilmour said. “I’m looking forward to it. By the looks of it right now and from what I’ve seen through pictures and the drawings that have been put out there, it’s going to be spectacular and it’s going to be special, not only for myself but for the next generation of players that come through. I’m almost more excited for that, just to know that everyone else is going to have a special place to call home.”
The women’s team will play an additional four games at SUNY Canton, a pair of nonconference games against Robert Morris on Nov. 29 and 30 and ECAC Hockey contests against Union and Rensselaer on Dec. 6 and 7.
If the new opening date works out then the men’s team will play 10 games at SUNY Canton this season and five in Appleton Arena. The women’s team will have played eight games at SUNY Canton, nine if you include the exhibition game against Team Korea, and seven games at Appleton Arena.
Despite the delays there remains excitement and anticipation for some of the new features. “I’m excited for the video board, we’ve obviously never had anything like that in there,” Gilmour said. “It’s going to be a really cool feature for games coming up. Our media personnel are going to a good job in getting stuff up there.”
Said Brekke, “The lighting in the facility, may seem like a small thing, but when they removed the old, big lights that were hanging down and put the LED lighting in, it’s reflective lighting. It goes down and bounces up I guess. It showcases the wood ceiling and it’s beautiful. To me, it makes it feel like it’s a bigger stadium because of the openness in the rafters, instead of those lights hanging.”
SUNY Canton men’s hockey is holding its alumni weekend this weekend and on Saturday the program will retire former player Cory Bercume’s No. 7 jersey and raising banners for former coaches Terry Martin and Ryan O’Brien.
The events will take place before Saturday’s 7 p.m. game against Skidmore. Bercume was a Potsdam native who died while a student at SUNY Canton in 2011 and was part of the program when it made the transition to the NCAA Division III level.
BIG WEEKEND FOR BROSSEAU
Clarkson men’s captain Devin Brosseau, a senior forward, reached the 100-point mark for his career with four assists last Saturday against Colgate. He now has totaled 37 goals and 63 assists in 126 games.
But more important than what he did on the ice was the effort he put in before the weekend in putting together Clarkson’s fundraising effort against cancer which took place during the men’s and women’s games Friday.
“Devin Brosseau is a special leader,” Clarkson coach Casey Jones said. “He organized that event. It was his event, the amount of money they raised. He believes in community and he’s really invested in Clarkson and our community here. I thought it was a special event.”