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Niagara hockey opens season in North Country

Niagara will open the 2015-16 season on the road, front-loading its schedule with non-conference opponents.

After an exhibition game at Dwyer Arena against Wilfred Laurier (Ont.) on Oct. 3, the Purple Eagles open the regular season with a North Country weekend – playing at St. Lawrence on Friday, Oct. 9 and at Clarkson on Saturday, Oct. 10.

Niagara returns home to host Atlantic Hockey rival Robert Morris on Oct. 23-24 then plays a home-and-home series with Cornell on Friday Oct. 30 (Dwyer Arena) and Oct. 31 (Lynah Rink).

Penn State will make its second appearance in Western New York when it plays the Purps at Dwyer on Friday, Nov. 6. The Nittany Lions will also be in Buffalo on Oct. 10 to play Canisius at HarborCenter.

Niagara closes out its non-conference schedule with a game at Michigan on Friday, Nov. 13 and then will play the USA National Development Team in Plymouth, Mich., on Saturday, Nov. 14.

Niagara struggled last season, losing its first nine games and finishing with the worst record in program history – 7-28-4. Early season injuries took a toll and the Purple Eagles never quite rebounded.

Niagara meets defending conference champ RIT four times in home-and-home series. The teams play Dec. 11 (Polisseni Center) and Dec. 12 (Dwyer Arena) and again on Feb. 19 (Dwyer Arena) and Feb. 20 (Polisseni Center.)

The Purple Eagles meet Canisius for just one weekend series. Niagara’s first trip to HarborCenter will be Thursday, Jan. 14 and Saturday Jan. 16.