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Tully, NY Native Is USHL Defenseman of The Week

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CHICAGO, ILL –

The United States Hockey League (USHL) announced theDefenseman of the Week for Week 3 of the 2020-21 season. Jack Babbage (Chicago Steel) took home the Defenseman of the Week honor.

Defenseman – Jack Babbage (2 games, 2-0-2, +4)

Babbage earned his first weekly honor as the Quinnipiac University commit posted goals in back-to-back wins during a home-and-home against the Green Bay Gamblers. The Tully, N.Y. native opened the 2020-21 season with goals in three-straight games for the first time in his career. Babbage now has a career total of 35 points (10-25-35) in 166 career USHL games. 

“Happy Thanksgiving”

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From the entire gang at NY Hockey OnLine we wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of our readers and followers. Have a safe and enjoyable Holiday.

NWHL To Play 2021 Season In Lake Placid

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The National Women’s Hockey League announced a plan to present the upcoming season and 2021 Isobel Cup Playoffs at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena in Lake Placid, NY between January 23 – February 5, 2021.

The event is presented in partnership with the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA). The goal of the NWHL bubble season is to play in a protective environment that prioritizes the health and safety of the players, staff, and surrounding community.

“The NWHL is excited to provide hockey fans a fast-paced schedule of thrilling games on the road to the Isobel Cup,” said NWHL Interim Commissioner Tyler Tumminia, who led the Lake Placid project since taking over in mid-October. “The continued challenges brought by the pandemic resulted in a mandate for our league, players and partners to collaborate on creating a controlled environment protecting the health of everyone involved. At a time of hyper-growth for girls’ and women’s hockey, we see this season as a celebration of the sport. This will be a historic moment as the hallowed arena that was the site of the “Miracle on Ice” in 1980 hosts its first women’s professional championship. It is a proud moment for the NWHL, the players, and all hockey fans.”

The competition in Lake Placid will feature the NWHL’s six teams – Boston Pride, Buffalo Beauts, Connecticut Whale, Metropolitan Riveters, Minnesota Whitecaps, and first-year expansion club the Toronto Six – and will be played without fans in attendance. The NWHL’s initiative comes in the wake of tremendous work in 2020 by the WNBA and NWSL, which executed successful and safe seasons while igniting massive increases in television viewership, streaming, apparel sales and fan engagement.

“ORDA and the NWHL are hopeful that our plan for the tournament will be able to move forward,” said Director of Sport Paul Wylie. “ORDA has been involved in the development of Women’s Hockey for many years, including hosting the World Championships, countless international tournaments and camps, as well as a training base for the U.S. Olympic Women’s Hockey Team.”

The teams will arrive separately in Lake Placid in a staggered schedule on Jan. 21 and 22. Beginning Jan. 23, they will each play five games (one against each team in the league), followed by a playoff round that will determine the four teams advancing to the Isobel Cup Semifinals. The single-game Semifinals will feature the top-seeded team against the fourth-place team, with the teams ranked second and third facing each other. The winners of the Semifinals will advance to the Isobel Cup Final on Friday, Feb. 5.

The entire season will be conducted in Lake Placid with regular COVID-19 testing provided by Yale Pathology Labs. All participants will follow strict adherence to protocols established by the medical team from the NWHL’s partners at NYU Langone Health, led by Drs. Andrew Feldman and Guillem Gonzalez-Lomas. With the ever-changing COVID-19 landscape, these protocols will be modified based on the most current research and evidence.

All of the professional players who signed contracts this year for the NWHL season will be compensated in full, despite the condensed game schedule. Players were given the opportunity to opt-out of the tournament and still receive their complete salaries. At this date, more than 95 percent of the players have committed to the competition, giving each team a full playing roster for Lake Placid – the site of the iconic “Miracle on Ice” by the U.S. Olympic Team in 1980. Following local and national health guidelines, NWHL teams began voluntary workouts in September and started official practices and workouts in October.

The complete schedule, broadcast information, and additional details will be made available in the weeks leading up to the season.

This 2021 NWHL season remains subject to the final agreement by and among the NWHL, the Olympic Regional Development Authority of New York and the State of New York as to the NWHL Return to Play Plan, consistent with the New York State Forward Guidance for Professional Sports and Training Competitions.  The State of New York has provided the Olympic Regional Development Authority of New York with approval to operate its facilities in Lake Placid, including Herb Brooks Arena, consistent with New York State Forward Guidance.

CHA Announces First-Half Schedule

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College Hockey America is pleased to announce our six members will complete a first-half schedule of at least four league games, to be completed over the next three weekends.

Following RIT’s announcement that they were reinstating their hockey programs, the league and its members pulled together to build a first-half schedule that included all six teams and allowed for as many games as possible.

“Today’s announcement is a culmination of months of planning and discussion and we are thrilled that we can have our six members return to action over the next couple of weeks”, said Commissioner Robert DeGregorio. “We found a way to get some games in the first half while still focusing on player health and safety.”

To do this efficiently and to navigate testing requirements, the first two weekends of December will see the same teams play each other with 2 games at home and 2 games on the road. The matchups for those two weekends are Mercyhurst vs. RIT, Lindenwood vs. Robert Morris, and Syracuse vs. Penn State. All games are subject to change and we encourage all fans to look at the respective schools’ websites to confirm the games are still going on as planned.

The CHA directors did open the weekend following Thanksgiving for league competition and we will see two series. Syracuse, who opened the 2020-21 season this past weekend against non-conference foe Colgate, will play two games against RIT. Lindenwood will also travel to Penn State for a two-game set before playing at Robert Morris next week.

The second-half schedule will be finalized in the coming weeks and announced at a later date.

ECAC Hockey Three Stars of The Week

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ALBANY, N.Y. — ECAC Hockey has announced its Three Stars of the Week for the week ending November 22, 2020. Rosy Demers (Colgate), Kris Oldham (Clarkson), and Alex Young (Colgate) have all been honored for their outstanding performances this weekend.

First Star: Rosy Demers

Demers (Jr. – Blainville, Que.) led the Raiders to a season-opening sweep of Syracuse over the weekend, recording three points on a goal and two assists. She picked up an assist on Colgate’s first goal on Friday, helping mount a come-from-behind win in the final period and overtime. She then scored the game-winning goal midway through the third period on Saturday, before assisting again on an insurance goal later in the frame.

Second Star: Kris Oldham

Oldham (Sr. – Anchorage, Ala.) made the most of his first start as a Golden Knight, stopping 23 of the 24 shots he faced as part of a 2-1 win over Colgate. He finished with a .958 save percentage, and shut down the one power play chance the Raiders saw. The Omaha transfer is now 1-0 in his Clarkson career.

Third Star: Alex Young

Young (Fr. – Calgary, Alb.) scored the lone goal for Colgate in his first collegiate start, closing the gap for the Raiders in a game they would eventually drop, 2-1. The highly touted rookie was all over the ice for Colgate in the contest, recording two shots on goal, and winning a face-off.

Stay up to date on all ECAC Hockey news, scores, and awards by following @ecachockey on Twitter, @ecachockey on Instagram, liking ECAC Hockey on Facebook, or by downloading our ECAC Hockey mobile app.

Sabres Holiday Angels Program Returns For 2020

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BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Buffalo Sabres announced the team will partner with Child & Family Services and WellNow Urgent Care for the return of the Sabres Holiday Angels program. Sabres Holiday Angels is an adopt-a-family program that allows Sabres fans to support their neighbors in need this holiday season.

“Since the inception of the Sabres Holiday Angels program, we’ve seen Western New Yorkers brighten the holiday season for hundreds of their neighbors,” said Rich Jureller, Sabres vice president of community relations. “We take immense pride in the generosity our fans show every year and look forward to seeing their response in an especially difficult time for many members of our community.”

Sabres fans can visit Sabres.com/HolidayAngels to adopt a family to provide gifts to. After registering, fans will receive information via email with details regarding gifts for the family they have been chosen to support. Information will typically include age, gender, clothing size and interests for each person to assist with shopping efforts.

The Sabres and WellNow will donate 750 pairs of new winter gloves that will be included with gifts to each adopted family. Any remaining gloves will be donated to Child & Family Services for distribution to additional individuals and families in need.

“2020 has been a difficult year for everyone—but, for those in need, it has made an already stressful holiday season even more challenging,” said WellNow Urgent Care President John Radford, M.D. “Through the Holiday Angels Program led by the Buffalo Sabres, we hope to help lessen this stress even just a little. We encourage those who are able to donate or adopt a family. Together, we can brighten the holidays for families across Western New York.”

Fans may also donate individual gifts of the donor’s choosing and Child & Family Services will match the gift with a person or family in need. Additionally, fans have the option to bring wrapping paper and wrapping accessories to one of the drop-off locations listed below. Those who would like to participate but are unable to make it to a drop-off location may donate a gift card by mailing it directly to Child & Family Services at 844 Delaware Ave., Buffalo, NY 14209.

“We greatly appreciate the continued support from the Buffalo Sabres and their fans,” said Elizabeth McPartland, President & CEO of Child & Family Services. “Throughout the pandemic, we have seen how the impact of this generosity lasts well beyond the holidays. We recognize that everyone is affected by the pandemic, and we are grateful the Sabres community continues to support the Western New York families who need them most.”

Child & Family Services asks that donors leave all gifts unwrapped and note the family’s number on each gift with the labels provided. Gifts are due to the charity by Monday, Dec. 14 and can be dropped off at the following locations:

  • Child & Family Services: 3901 Genesee St., Cheektowaga, NY 14225, on Wednesday, Dec. 9 or Thursday, Dec. 10 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • KeyBank Center, Sabres Alumni Plaza: 1 Seymour H Knox III Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203, on Monday, Dec. 14 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Fans are asked to contact Theresa DeLuca by phone at (716) 335-7235 or email at tdeluca@cfsbny.org with any questions regarding Sabres Holiday Angels, if they have signed up but can no longer provide gifts, or if they need to change their delivery time or location.

About Child & Family Services

Child & Family Services is a private, not-for-profit human service organization which provides comprehensive programming for children, adults and families in Western New York. The Agency’s 145-year-old mission of strengthening families and promoting the well-being of children through prevention, intervention, education and advocacy empowers more than 10,000 individuals each year. Our wide range of services include foster care and adoption, mental health counseling, domestic violence prevention services, special education programming, employee assistance programming, residential treatment programs for youth and much more. To learn more, visit us at www.cfsbny.org or call (716) 842-2750.

Check out Child & Family Services at cfsbny.org, at facebook.com/cfsbny and twitter.com/cfsbny.

About WellNow Urgent Care

WellNow Urgent Care has nearly 50 urgent care centers in New York and Illinois. Founded in 2011 by Dr. John Radford, WellNow Urgent Care℠ is one of the fastest-growing providers of urgent medical care. WellNow treats non-life-threatening injuries and illnesses seven days a week, with no appointment needed and online check-ins available. Patients can use the company’s telehealth platform for virtual consultations 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Employers can also partner with WellNow for occupational medicine programs. A full list of WellNow services and hours can be found online at WellNow.com.

Thousands Try Hockey For First Time

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More Than 175 Host Sites Welcomed New Hockey Families in November’s Try Hockey For Free, Presented by SportsEngine
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – More than 3,000 kids across the country got to try hockey for the first time earlier this month (Nov. 7) during the first of two USA Hockey Try Hockey for Free Days this season. Presented by SportsEngine, USA Hockey’s Try Hockey for Free days are focused on providing an opportunity for children that haven’t tried hockey to do so without cost. 

Certified volunteers and coaches put on the events, and host sites typically provide equipment for children to borrow. 

“Because of the pandemic, we had limited sites this year with fewer participants, but for those that did participate, the smiles on the faces of kids and families were as heart-warming as ever,” said Kevin Erlenbach, assistant executive director for membership at USA Hockey. “Hockey provides so many positive benefits, including contributing to physical, social and mental well-being, and it’s always fun to share those benefits with new families.” 

USA Hockey’s annual Hockey Week Across America celebration will include the second national Try Hockey for Free day on Feb. 20. Interested host sites should contact programservices@usahockey.org for more information. 

With the support of the NHL and NHL member clubs, among others, USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For Free days are designed to provide a national platform for introducing children to the sport free of charge. They are the world’s largest introduction-to-hockey initiative, typically spanning more than 800 rinks nationwide. CCM Hockey, Pure Hockey and SportsEngine are official sponsors of Try Hockey For Free. 

NOTES: Now in its 11th season, USA Hockey’s Try Hockey For Free initiative has introduced more than 216,950 children to the sport of hockey . . . USA Hockey encourages participants to post photos and videos on social media to the “CCM Photo Gallery,” tagging @usahockey and using the hashtag #TryHockey. 

Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres To Provide Thanksgiving Meals For 1000 Families

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$50,000 total donation will provide turkey dinners through City Mission, FeedMore WNY and Eight Days of Hope


BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres foundations will provide 1,000 Thanksgiving meals for families throughout Western New York with a total donation of more than $50,000 this holiday season. The donation is a part of the direct community aid initiative Terry and Kim Pegula launched in March that has committed $1.2 million to help members of the community who have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This year has been challenging in many ways, so it is our hope that the meals provided can take pressure off of families during this holiday season,” Sabres VP of Community Relations Rich Jureller and Bills VP of Community Relations Gretchen Geitter jointly said. “We are grateful our two teams are able to come together to support those in need in the City of Buffalo. Eight Days of Hope, Buffalo City Mission and FeedMore WNY are organizations that make it their priority to give back to the community every day and we are pleased to be a lending hand in their efforts this Thanksgiving.”

The Thanksgiving initiatives include the Buffalo Bills Annual Thanksgiving Blitz. 600 Western New York families received Thanksgiving meals through FeedMore WNY. The complete meals include turkey, rolls, potatoes, apples, green beans, corn, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing, iced tea mix, apple juice, apple and pumpkin pies.

The Buffalo Sabres are teaming with Eight Days of Hope to distribute 200 turkey dinners at four City of Buffalo churches as the holiday approaches. The meal supplies will be enough to feed a family of six. The Sabres Foundation will also be donating an additional 200 turkeys to the City Mission and FeedMore WNY for the families they serve.

For fans looking for a way to get involved, the Buffalo City Mission can provide a Thanksgiving meal to those in need for $1.98. Fans can donate to the Buffalo City Mission by clicking here or to FeedMore WNY by clicking here.

The USA Hockey Foundation’s “Raise The Flag” Auction Opens Thursday

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Bid to win a variety of experiences and signed memorabilia while supporting efforts of U.S. National Teams
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – The USA Hockey Foundation announced its Raise the Flag Auction will officially begin on Thursday (Nov. 19). Proceeds from the auction will support USA Hockey’s efforts in preparation for the upcoming 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games.

In addition to signed memorabilia from U.S. national team athletes, among the many unique experiences up for bid are rounds of golf at famous courses, an opportunity to watch a Minnesota Wild game from a catered suite with general manager Bill Guerin, a special day with the famous Clydesdale horses in St. Louis; and a week in the Florida Keys, including airfare, resort credit, and a captained boat for fishing, cruising or snorkeling. For a full look at the opening catalog, go here.

Fans are encouraged to check back often as items will be added on a rolling basis through the end of the year.

To bid on an item, participants must first be registered and can do so by clicking here.

NOTES: The USA Hockey Foundation was established in 1989 and has been the charitable non-profit corporation that provides long-range financial support for USA Hockey and promotes the growth of hockey in the United States. The Foundation’s primary goals are to enhance USA Hockey’s mission and activities; to provide funding for education and training of high-performance athletes; and to provide opportunities for great participation throughout the country…The Raise the Flag Campaign was launched in 2020 and contributions can be made by clicking here … The 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games will be held in Beijing, China starting Feb. 4-20.

Union College Hockey Update

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – Union College will not participate in intercollegiate men’s and women’s ice hockey competition during the 2020-21 school year, the College announced on Tuesday afternoon.

“This was an incredibly difficult and disappointing decision that we had to make in the best interest of our entire community, a decision that I was heartbroken to deliver to our student-athletes earlier today,” said Director of Athletics Jim McLaughlin ’93. “The pandemic continues to affect all aspects of our daily lives and unfortunately intercollegiate athletics, like many other extracurricular pursuits that students are passionate about on our campus, is not immune.”

Union has been successful through the fall term in keeping the number of positive COVID-19 cases low. In order to maintain this positive momentum headed into the winter term, it will be critical to continue the safety precautions of social distancing, avoiding large gatherings and limiting travel to and from campus – all of which pose significant challenges to participating in intercollegiate athletics.

The health and safety of the campus community is and will continue to be the driving influence in all decisions. The College has examined and considered multiple options to enable safe competition, but the continued and significant rise in infection rates and concerning trends prevent us from moving forward in good conscience. In the end, the College has a responsibility to our students, staff and community to not place them at risk.

“We explored every possibility to allow our students to compete, including remote learning opportunities within close proximity to campus. Unfortunately, we could not identify a scenario that allowed us to compete safely without compromising the academic experience of our student-athletes, which is the primary reason students choose to attend Union along with the ability to compete at the highest level of competition on a national stage,” McLaughlin added. “My heart goes out to all but particularly our seniors, who have established themselves as leaders in the classroom, in the community and on the ice throughout their careers at Union.”

Union’s teams will continue to work with coaches and staff for support and on-ice opportunities throughout the winter term, allowing players the opportunity to hone their skills and grow both as students and as athletes.

Men’s and women’s ice hockey will be provided an additional season of competition and an additional academic year in which to compete, as part of the recent decision by the NCAA Division I Council for all winter sports.

We look forward to the time when we can safely be back together to cheer on all of our Union teams and we continue to evaluate the prospect of spring sports competition with our league partners.
(Union College photo)

RPI Updates Hockey Season

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STATEMENT REGARDING THE 2020-21 RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUE HOCKEY SEASONS

TROY, N.Y. – In a continued effort to safeguard the students, faculty, staff and community from the COVID-19 virus, the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) men’s and women’s ice hockey teams will not compete during the 2020-21 academic year.

“As we navigate the global pandemic, we must make every effort to protect the health, safety, and well-being of the Institute community, and unfortunately, cancelling the hockey seasons is prudent as we attempt to achieve that objective,” said Dr. Lee McElroy, Associate Vice President and Director of Athletics. “It was a very difficult decision, and we share with our student-athletes and their families the disappointment and uncertainty that comes with this news. The administration will continue to offer support and guidance in every way we can to those affected.”

NYSPHSAA Postpones Start Date For High Risk Winter Sports

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Low and moderate risk sports on schedule to begin November 30th

Latham, NY – The New York State Public High School Athletic Association (NYSPHSAA) has announced the start date for high risk winter sports (basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey and wrestling) will be moved to January 4, 2021.  Until authorization is granted by state officials, NYSPHSAA member schools are not permitted to participate in sports determined to be high risk by the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).  Low and moderate risk winter sports will be permitted to begin on November 30th as previously determined by NYSPHSAA. 

“The NYSPHSAA membership has expressed concerns pertaining to the increase in infection rates,” said Dr. Robert Zayas, NYSPHSAA Executive Director. “Minimizing risk and exposure to COVID-19 is a top priority of the Association.  We continue to make these types of decisions based upon readily available information and communication with state officials.”

Low and moderate risk winter sport practices (bowling, gymnastics, indoor track & field, skiing, and swimming & diving) are still on schedule to begin on November 30th for those schools and sections who have determined it feasible to host interscholastic athletics at that time.  Regular season games/contests can begin for low and moderate risk fall sports once student-athletes have participated in the required number of practices as per NYSPHSAA bylaws.

“NYSPHSAA’s leadership recognizes the numerous challenges interscholastic programs are experiencing and the obstacles associated with resuming high risk sports,” said Julie Bergman, NYSPHSAA President. “While it is certainly the goal of the Association to provide all students with the ability to participate in interscholastic athletics we must remain steadfast in our decisions to ensure the safety of our athletes is our focus.”

At this time, all winter NYSPHSAA State Championship events remain as scheduled.

Native NYS Hockey Players Vie For 2021 World Junior Roster Spots

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By Warren Kozireski —

Six players who call New York home and two others drafted by New York State teams are among 39 players invited to recent tryouts for Team USA for the 2021 IIHF World Junior tournament in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Five other players drafted by New York State teams and Janesville, NY native and duel citizen Thomas Harley are among 46 others trying out for Team Canada.

Defensemen Domenick Fensore (Thornwood) and Marshall Warren (Laurel Hollow) along with forward Robert Mastrosimone (East Islip) all hail from the New York metropolitan area.

Fensore was selected in the third round (90th overall) by Carolina in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft and is with Boston University. Warren was a sixth round pick (166th overall) by Minnesota and is playing with Boston College while Mastrosimone was taken in the second round (54th overall) by Detroit and is with Fensore at BU.

Clarence Center native and defenseman Case McCarthy was taken in the fourth round (118th overall) by New Jersey and is also awaiting the start of his Boston University college hockey career.

Forward John Beecher (Elmira) played last season with the University of Michigan after being selected late in the first round by the Boston Bruins (30th overall).

2020 Montreal second round draft pick and Boston University freshman Luke Tuch of Baldwinsville completes the list of New York-born players.

Buffalo Sabres first round draft pick and University of Minnesota product Ryan Johnson is among those vying for a spot on defense as is New York Rangers fourth rounder Hunter Skinner, who is on the London Knights (OHL) roster.

For Team Canada, the New York Rangers have three players on the preliminary roster including 2020 fourth round pick goaltender Dylan Garand, who is with Kamloops (WHL). Defenseman Mathew Robertson (Edmonton-WHL)—a second round pick in 2019—and Braden Schneider (Brandon-WHL), a first round selection in 2020 are among 15 blueliners in camp.

Syracuse native Thomas Harley is also on that list. He was taken 18th overall by Dallas in 2019 and skates with Mississauga (OHL).

Buffalo’s last two first round selections complete the list with forwards Dylan Cozens (Lethbridge-WHL) and Jack Quinn (Ottawa-OHL), who taken 8th overall.

New York Rangers prospects Karl Henriksson, a second round pick in 2019 (58th  overall) is a virtual lock for Team Sweden and left wing Leevi Aaltonen, a late (fifth round) pick by the Rangers in 2019, is vying for a forward slot.

The New York Islanders are a bit lean with potential prospects in the tournament this year with only 2019 first round pick Simon Holmstrom trying out for Team Sweden and 2020 sixth round pick Matias Rajaniemi hoping to play for Team Finland.

The tournament runs from December 25, 2020-January 5, 2021.

Atlantic Hockey Preview-NYS Teams

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By Warren Kozireski —

Niagara slotted fourth, Army fifth and Canisius tied for ninth in the Atlantic Hockey Coaches Men’s Hockey Poll released earlier this week. RIT has opted out for the season.

The Purple Eagles earned one first place vote and 69 points overall in the poll.

Niagara returns all but one of every forward who scored ten or more points last season led by junior Jack Billings. They will need to replace one-third of their top-six on defense returning only seniors Chris Harpur, Jack Zielinski, Jared Brandt and junior Zac Hermann (Lancaster) from those who started their final game last season. Junior transfer Croix Evingson via UMass-Lowell should help.

Senior Brian Wilson and sophomore Chad Veltri spilt the net last season with the latter the starter down the stretch. Junior Mike Corson arrives from the University of Denver after playing one game in each of the last two seasons.

“Offensively we have identified a few areas we need to get better in,” had coach Jason Lammers said. “Defensively we know the details we need to focus on and we’ll be bigger and faster than last year.

“We hope to be five-to-seven percent better on the power play and specialty teams.”

Army was seeded fifth in the poll after winning just three games over the last month-and-a-half in 2019-20, though with four overtime losses. The Black Knights will need to find more offense after the departure of their top two scorers.

Juniors Colin Bilek and Eric Butte with senior Mason Krueger are the top returners up front. Senior defensemen John Zimmerman and Cody Fleckenstein (Fredonia) anchor the defense along with sophomores Anthony Firriolo and Thomas Farrell in front of senior Trevin Kozlowski in net.

“In any given week we’re hoping we don’t get any positives and then we’re hoping that our opponent doesn’t get any positives and then it’s on to game week,” head coach Brian Riley said about new COVID protocols.

“It’s been a long pre-season, but I’m proud of how our guys have handled it. We need to build from the back end out and hope players up front take a step forward.”

Canisius put together a solid second half of last season after a miserable first half and finished with ten wins overall before losing to Bentley in the first round of the playoffs.

“The past two years are not where we need to be and our plan is to get better,” head coach Trevor Large said. “We graduated some big-time scorers; we’re not young, but not old either which is normal. We are focused on being better defensively and harder to play against.”

Seniors Austin Alger, Grant Meyer and Matt Long along with junior Lee Lapid and Mitchell Martan are the only returners scoring ten or more points last season, so offensive will be at a premium.

There is more experience defensively in seniors Logan Gestro and Blake Wareham with junior Derek Hamelin, but very young behind that trio.

Sophomore Jacob Barczewski should see the bulk of time in net along with junior Matt Ladd (Getzville).

Atlantic Hockey begins their abbreviated 2020-21 schedule Nov. 14 with the league divided into eastern and western pods to reduce travel. The conference semi-finals and finals are scheduled to be played at Buffalo’s LECOM HarborCenter in March.