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Stranded on a bus: A Niagara athletic tradition

By now you've heard the story of how the Niagara women's basketball team spent more than 30 hours on their bus, stranded by the snow storm as they were traveling back to Lewiston from their game in Pittsburgh.

In a way, they were carrying on a Purple Eagle tradition.

It was 2006, before the explosion of social media, when the Niagara men's hockey team was stranded on the New York State Thruway overnight, coming home from a 2-1 loss to Colgate in a non-conference matchup played at Blue Cross Arena.

It was Thursday, Oct. 12, 2006 when the Purps were returning from Rochester. It was their third game, first on the road, that season.

The bus got stuck on the 90 between Batavia and Pembroke. The team was stuck overnight. And to add insult to injury after the bus got moving again, it broke down at the Grand Island bridge. The team finally arrived home Friday morning.

"We had to wait for a new bus when ours broke down at the Grand Island bridge," Niagara coach Dave Burkholder recalled.

"It was not a lot of fun. We weren't packed up with supplies and it was a very eerie feeling for sure."


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