Amy Moritz's Power Take: Time for Atlantic Hockey to find a new postseason home - The Buffalo News
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Amy Moritz's Power Take: Time for Atlantic Hockey to find a new postseason home

The game had all the atmosphere of the public library. Check that. Rochester's public library probably had more atmosphere than Blue Cross Arena did on Friday when Canisius and Robert Morris played in the semifinals of the Atlantic Hockey tournament.

The official attendance was 200 and I'm guessing that included members of both bands. The other semifinal between Army West Point and Air Force drew 630. Saturday's championship brought 650 fans. All this in a 13,000-seat arena.

But what about when RIT is in it? Yes, the 3,000 fans which were at the last year's championship game featuring the Tigers was a big boost. But it still left 75 percent of the arena seats empty. It's not just a bad look for Atlantic Hockey. Players deserve better than an empty rink when fighting for an NCAA tourney berth.

The league's deal in Rochester runs through 2019 but they should start looking at other options now. There are arenas in the 6,000-seat range in Binghamton, Elmira, and Erie, Pa. Surely they exist in Massachusetts as well. On-campus sites for all rounds is another avenue worth exploring. Is the potential travel to Air Force problematic? Perhaps. But teams have to go there for first and quarterfinal rounds already. And players, coaches and fans deserve a better atmosphere for championship games.

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