North Dakota is coming to town.
That’s the highlight of the Canisius College men’s hockey schedule released by the school on Tuesday. The Golden Griffins will host the eight-time national champion Fighting Hawks on Jan. 4-5 in HarborCenter.
Niagara also announced its 2018-19 schedule on Tuesday. Coach Jason Lammers’ Purple Eagles will play 34 regular season games after opening with an exhibition game against York (Ont.) University on Oct. 6 at Dwyer Arena.
For North Dakota, it will be it’s the first visit to Buffalo to play the Griffs since October 2002 when the teams met in KeyBank Center.
The other four non-conference games for Canisius include a home-and-home with Clarkson (Oct. 27 in Potsdam and November 10 in HarborCenter) and two games against Union (Dec. 28-29) in Schenectady.
The Griffs play rival Niagara four times, both in home-and-home series. They first meet Nov. 16 (Dwyer Arena) and Nov. 17 (HarborCenter) then again Feb. 22 (HarborCenter) and Feb. 23 (Dwyer Arena).
Canisus will open the regular season on the road with an Atlantic Hockey series at Holy Cross Oct. 12-13. The home schedule begins Oct. 19-20 against Air Force, the defending Atlantic Hockey tournament champion.
Niagara’s nonconference schedule is highlighted by a two-game series at Penn State on Oct. 19 and 20. The nonconference home slate includes a series against Colgate on Dec. 7 and 8. Lammers’ team also has nonconference road games at Western Michigan Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
“What I love about this season’s schedule is that we will be tested early with 11 of the first 16 games on the road,” said head coach Jason Lammers. “The travel will give us the opportunity to play in hostile environments and help us bond as people, players and teammates. These experiences will create a foundation to enhance our performance throughout the Atlantic Hockey schedule.”