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Teams make do after the storm

Area colleges are steaming ahead with their fall sports schedules in the wake of last week's surprise snowstorm -- even if they have to improvise a little to get back to normal.

Several schools have used alternate sites for events or, in the case of the University at Buffalo's football game Sunday with Miami (Ohio), pushed things back a day or two.

Canisius will make up its men's soccer game against Niagara today at 3 at the Demske Sports Complex, although the school is struggling to get power back to its athletic facilities. The game will go on, just without the normal frills.

"We'll play it with no scoreboard like a little league game," said Marc Gignac, the school's director of athletic communications. "Just like when you were a kid. No board, no music and the refs keeping time on the field with their watches."

Power remains sporadic in the Koessler Center, with a generator lighting the offices for staff while the main arena and swimming pool were still dark as of Monday night.

The men's basketball team's first practices under new coach Tom Parrotta have taken place at Buffalo State and D'Youville while the women's team has worked out at UB.

Women's coach Terry Zeh, in fact, has been sleeping on Gignac's couch in an apartment near campus while his wife and two young children wait for power to come back on with family in the Elmira area.

The Canisius women's soccer team has rescheduled its game at Niagara for Oct. 24 at 3:30 p.m. while the swim team is scheduled to host a dual meet against Shippensburg (Pa.) Saturday at 1 p.m. in Koessler if the power returns.

Canisius has not had to worry about moving games because the Demske complex is an artificial surface. But field conditions have dictated several moves in schedules in recent days. The Buffalo State football game against Rowan (N.J.) was played at Cortland State while UB played a men's soccer game against Western Michigan at Lewiston-Porter High and the women's team met Bowling Green at Kent State.

Niagara and St. Bonaventure had no problems on their campuses but did have a couple of events affected by events elsewhere. Things were mostly under control at UB, save for some roof leaks in the office areas of Alumni Arena.

The Niagara men's hockey team, however, had a harrowing drive home from Rochester Thursday night after its game against Colgate in Blue Cross Arena and didn't get back to campus until 10 a.m. Friday. The team was stuck on the Thruway between Batavia and Depew for several hours, then the bus broke down near the South Grand Island Bridge when the brakes froze.

Elsewhere, Daemen's women's soccer game today against RIT has been moved to Sahlen's Sports Park in Elma due to poor field conditions at the West Seneca Soccer Complex. Kickoff remains at 4 p.m.

Hilbert's women's volleyball match tonight against visiting Lake Erie has been postponed until Thursday and will start at 7 p.m.

e-mail: mharrington@buffnews.com

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