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College Hockey:
Bye bye, Boardwalk; hello, Lake Placid

ECAC Hockey formally announced what Ken Schott broke last Friday: The league is returning to Lake Placid and Herb Brooks Arena for its men’s championship weekend.

I0000 fmW1AHDqOM Bye bye, Boardwalk; hello, Lake Placid

Herb Brooks Arena seems to be the best available option for ECAC Hockey (photo: Angelo Lisuzzo).

The contract reunites ECAC Hockey and the venerable venue for a three-year term, commencing in Spring 2014 and concluding in 2016, whereupon the league will reassess its options. This is the conference’s second take on the Lake, as 10 seasons’ worth of ECAC champions were crowned there between 1993 and 2002. The league then pulled up stakes in search of a bigger stage, but greater crowds and exposure never materialized at Albany’s Pepsi Arena/Times-Union Center (2003-10) nor Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall (2011-13).

I have been highly skeptical of such a return for years now, but in my eyes it truly appears to be the best option available. Providence purportedly joined Albany and Atlantic City in seeking ECAC Hockey’s next contract, but – while attempts to draw a heftier gate and develop greater exposure were noble tries – I now see that a friendly, supportive community in a smaller town and venue are preferable to abject apathy at a moderately more metropolitan site.

Boston would’ve been ideal, but that is Hockey East’s turf now. New York City would’ve been extremely appealing as well (think alumni presence), but there’s no appropriately sized arena. (I imagine all-around costs and general community support would also be issues.) Albany’s been done, Atlantic City is too far away, and Providence doesn’t seem like much of an improvement or deviation from either of the latter locales.

I could probably wax on about what has been done right, what’s gone wrong, and what the future may yet hold with regards to the league’s annual finale, but instead I will defer to former Harvard men’s hockey sports information director Casey Hart, who not only hit most of the points I would have otherwise made, but did it sooner, and with minimal spelling or grammatical errors.

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  • Guest

    Dear Santa,
    While you’re stuffing your sleigh can you bring the Nanooks a couple of bona-fide snipers who can score with the best of them? 
    Thank you
    A Nanooks Fan Who Hates One Goal Losses.

  • Dick

    Who are these posts written for? I would guess any hockey fan visiting this site knows the ins and outs of the season, maybe even more in depth. Hell, I could write this. I guess it’s un biased fwiw. Just wasted 5 mins reading this and another 2 commenting geez. gimme some real news. Merry Xmas

    • Paula Weston

      Merry Christmas to you, too, Dick!

    • Anonymous

      I don’t pay that much attention to the CCHA. I now considered myself briefed.

  • Yooper

    Indeed NMU hasn’t scored much so far with Vijier, Gron, and Florek leading the way.
    However, when your strength of schedule has been the toughest in the nation, you probably won’t score much anyway.  NMU has a history of being outshot 40-20 and winning the game late 2-1 etc.  Please note that Notre Dame has had an intense
    schedule as well and their third best scorer only has 5.  There is clearly much more to winning hockey than goal scoring.  I don’t see NMUs 6 CCHA home games and 8 CCHA road games  as a significant hindrance during the rest of the season.  They did get soundly beaten at OSU but their other road games (WMU and LSSU) were
    close contests.  Watch out for Reed Sekel… he’s better than the stats show.

  • 81GRRBRONCO

    Dick….Might want to work on those typing skills if it took you 2 minutes to “Post” your meaningless comment.