The 2008 College Hockey America Men’s Tournament will be hosted by Niagara University, as announced by the league office Tuesday. The three-day tournament, which kicks off March 14, will be played at the newly-renovated Dwyer Arena one week after the campus hosts the Women’s CHA Tournament.
“We are extremely excited to have both the men’s and women’s CHA Tournaments on our campus this year,” Niagara athletics director Ed McLaughlin said. “It gives us a tremendous opportunity to show the renovations in Dwyer Arena to hockey fans in Western New York and all across the country. We expect to provide another terrific experience and championship atmosphere for all coaches and student-athletes.”
This marks the first time in six years that the tournament will not be hosted at a neutral site. The last time a CHA school hosted the championships was in 2002 at Niagara. The 2008 CHA Tournament was originally scheduled to be played in the state of Ohio, but Youngstown pulled its bid to host the championships earlier this month. Three conference teams (Niagara, Bemidji State and Robert Morris) placed bids to host the tournament on campus, with Niagara winning the league vote.
“The CHA is pleased and proud to bring Division I championship collegiate hockey to Niagara University,” CHA commissioner R.H. “Bob” Peters said. “Recent renovations to Dwyer Arena make it a superb venue which will result in a positive experience for the CHA student-athletes and fans.”
This summer, Niagara began work renovating Dwyer arena with seamless glass, new boards and a premium seating section, which increases the arena’s capacity to 2,100.
Renovations are set to be completed Oct. 1, in time for Niagara’s home opener against Bowling Green on Oct. 18.
“We are very proud of our facilities and that in itself assures a good experience for all the teams,” Niagara head coach Dave Burkholder said. “With our location and the support of our loyal fans, hockey fans in general from Western New York and Southern Ontario, I am assuring a weekend the CHA and all it’s members will be very proud of.”