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October 2, 2012

CONFER: Get your hockey fix in local colleges

(Continued)

Tonawanda News —

can watch gifted prospects and future NHL players play all out in their quest to win a championship and

cement their legacies on the ice and catch the eyes of scouts. They play with a hunger not seen in the

pro ranks. There’s always a good chance that these teams could play their way onto the national stage – just as RIT did a few years ago – and the magical Frozen Four.

You will see an even greater passion played out on the DIII rinks. DII hockey is one of my loves

(especially at Brockport where you can catch me at most home games) since it doesn’t have the

trappings of DI (athletic scholarships) or the NHL (people being paid millions). They play for the love of

the game. That’s it. That love is evident on the ice. The game is much faster and more active than the

NHL. There is a lot of contact. The players sacrifice themselves to win. Above all, it’s played extremely

well: DIII kids aren’t pushovers. As a matter of fact, they might not even be kids. The times have changed and no longer do you see a lot of “true freshmen” (guys aged 17 or 18) on the ice. Most of them stuck around the juniors for a while and further honed their game. You’re watching men in their twenties playing at a highly-skilled level that many others could never come close to achieving.

The venues in which you can watch these affairs are homey, close to the action, and above all, cheap

(something an NHL game could never be). For $5 you can watch a DIII game. DI tickets can be purchased for $12 or less, depending on any number of special deals. The foods in these places are actually affordable, too, on a shoestring budget.

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