Syracuse club ice hockey seizes Frozen Dome Classic opportunity

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ The stage has never been bigger for the Syracuse men’s club ice hockey.On Friday at 9 p.m., the Orange (10-7) will take on West Virginia (7-9) in the Carrier Dome for the first of a two-game series. Friday’s game will be part of the Frozen Dome Classic, the first time hockey will be played in the Carrier Dome and the SU players and coaches are embracing the opportunity as a big step for their program.“I think it’s a once-in-a-lifetime event. I think it’s incredible,” said SU goalie coach John Parks. “That’s why I wanted it for (the players), so they have the opportunity to experience this. It’s in their own Dome.”The team learned that it would be playing in the Dome this past summer. The chance came as the result of a relationship between Parks and the Syracuse Crunch front office.Parks is currently a practice goalie for the Crunch and has been with the team since 2007. He knew about the Frozen Dome Classic when it was still an idea and suggested that the Syracuse club team partake. And after a meeting with SU head coach Nick Pierandri and other team representatives, the Crunch decided that the Orange would be a good addition to the event.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textPart of the event’s planning involved deciding who would make a good opponent. West Virginia, a strong presence in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, seemed to be a good fit.Pierandri said that West Virginia wanted the opportunity for its team, as well.

“(Like I said,) in the ACHA there are some really good programs and there are some really good arenas,” Pierandri said. “But this is a showcase type arena for the ACHA that you don’t see anywhere else.”While the Crunch promoted the Frozen Dome Classic with billboards, radio and television advertisements, posters and collaboration with hockey programs in the area, the SU team created a promotional poster of its own for its game that was approved for use by the Crunch. Word of mouth and social media have also helped to spread the word about the game.The Crunch has sold over 26,000 tickets to its game on Saturday night, according to Howard Dolgon, owner of the Syracuse Crunch, and anybody who has that ticket can watch the club team the night before.The environment will be new, but the team plans to prepare for the game just like any other — even though SU’s players will be making history in the same arena where they watch Syracuse’s main sporting events, junior forward and assistant captain JR LaPointe said.“It’s really a special thing to be a part of some of the first (ice) hockey played in the Carrier Dome,” LaPointe said. “So I know it’s certainly going to be one of the most memorable games that I’m going to be able to play in my hockey career and I think a lot of the guys feel the same way about that.”Players are not only looking forward to this game as a memorable personal experience, but also as progress for the program.They hope that the game will increase the awareness and fan base of the team.

“I think it’s a step in the right direction,” LaPointe said. “I know everyone that is on this team wants this team to keep rising to that next level and I think that this is one of the first steps to get there.” Comments Published on November 20, 2014 at 12:07 am Contact Kevin: [email protected]last_img

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